|The Latest From Delmark|
By Willard Manus
Chicago-based Delmark Records continues to swim against the tide. At a time when so many independent labels specializing in blues and jazz have gone under, Delmark keeps on truckin', thanks to its shrewd policy of mixing new releases with repackaged oldies plucked from its Fort Knox-like backlist.
Here is a typical batch of current Delmark offerings.
AND FRIENDS--ONE STEADY ROLL. Originally recorded in California on May
3, 1982, this CD showcases the many gifts of jazz giant Bushell, whose
career on clarinet (and other wind instruments) spanned most of the 20th
century and included stints with Mamie Smith, Ethel Waters, Fats Waller,
Fletcher Henderson, Cab Calloway, John Coltrane and Miles Davis, among
Memories of You, I'm Getting Sentimental Over You and I Got It Bad, but they are played (and, in three instances, sung) with such warmth, vitality and freshness that my toe kept tapping the whole time. And as soon as the CD came to an end, I immediately hit the play button again.
is another jazz elder statesman. Now in his 80s, his career dates back
to 1943 when he broke in with Eugene Wright's band. In 1946 he served
as bandmaster for the US 5th Army Band, from which group he transitioned
to Chicago where he played sax for Roosevelt Sykes and other bluesmen.
He kept his jazz chops up by sitting in with the likes of Billie Holiday,
Sonny Rollins, George Benson and Lionel Hampton, followed by a longtime
gig at the Parisian Room and European tours with Sonny Stitt, with whom
he shared many a spirited cutting session.
Holloway's backup musicians include B3 maven Chris Foreman, drummer Greg Rockingham (both from Deep Blue Organ Trio) and guitarist Henry Johnson. These cats swing like mad together and deserve to be heard again as a unit. Do you copy that, Delmark?
ROB MAZUREK--SOUND IS is a complete departure from either of the above albums, an avant-garde work that is truly far out and experimental. Mazurek started out as a hard-bop trumpet player but expanded his musical range and interests over the years, learning not only to play synthesizer and piano but to compose music that broke all kinds of boundaries and restrictions.
In his debut record (with this quintet), Mazurek plays around with sound and time on all fourteen cuts (hence the CD's subtitle). Working with four kindred musical souls (John Herndon, drums; Matthew Lux, bass guitar; Josh Abrams, piano; Jason Adasiewicz, vibraphone), Mazurek comes up with some astounding tunes and poems. His own description sums it all up best: "SOUND IS..hi pitch, low pitch, middle pitch, overtones of various instruments, loud, soft, centered, non-centered, interpretive color projections, light, non-light, grey areas, beats, non-beats, breathing, rhythm, non-rhythm, the rhythm of non-rhythm, traditional harmony, synthetic (original) harmony, melody, stacked sound, single sound, computer sound, ringing sound, acoustic sound, and the voice and spirit of a young child."