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Bob James - Three (1976) Japanese Remastered Reissue 2015

Posted By: Designol
Bob James - Three (1976) Japanese Remastered Reissue 2015

Bob James - Three (1976) Japanese Remastered Reissue 2015
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 286 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 136 Mb | Scans included
Smooth Jazz, Fusion, Jazz-Funk | Label: Tappan Zee | # VICJ-61716 | Time: 00:41:31

By Three, Bob James – the pianist, composer, and arranger – was deep into jazz-funk. The five tracks here reflect his obsession with hard, danceable grooves that take as much from the soul-jazz book as they do his years with CTI. Using many of the same session players he bonded with at his former label – including Eric Gale, Hugh McCracken, Hubert Laws, Will Lee, and Harvey Mason – and a large host of stellar horn players (among them Lew Soloff and Jon Faddis), James offers five selections of simple but fun jazz-pop.

The Crusaders - Crusaders 1 (1972) Remastered Reissue 2006

Posted By: Designol
The Crusaders - Crusaders 1 (1972) Remastered Reissue 2006

The Crusaders - Crusaders 1 (1972) Remastered Reissue 2006
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 438 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 197 Mb | Scans included
Label: Blue Thumb | # BTS 6001, 0602517040663 | Time: 01:17:41
Jazz-Funk, Fusion, Soul Jazz, Crossover Jazz

In 1971, the Jazz Crusaders reinvented themselves for the first time. First they dropped the word "jazz" from their moniker, and secondly they wholeheartedly embraced electric bass and guitars in their mix. Their new "debut" is a wonder of jazz-funk as a natural evolution out of hard bop and soul-jazz. While the wonderful horn interplay between saxophonist Wilton Felder and trombonist Wayne Henderson is still everywhere evident, the badass, beat-driven rhythm section has Joe Sample playing funky Rhodes piano against Chuck Rainey's basslines and an orgy of guitars – led by Larry Carlton's brilliant lead work. These are all anchored by Stix Hooper's never out-of-the-pocket, popping kit work. Certainly other acts had used the same instrumentation, but the sheer sophistication in the Crusaders compositions and charts combined with their dedication to grooved-out accessibility – and Stewart Levine's magnificent production – made them a singular entity even in the up-and-coming jazz-rock fusion scene.

The Jazz Crusaders - Happy Again (1995)

Posted By: Designol
The Jazz Crusaders - Happy Again (1995)

The Jazz Crusaders - Happy Again (1995)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 453 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 168 Mb | Scans included
Crossover Jazz, Smooth Jazz, Jazz-Funk, Fusion | Label: Sin-Drome | # 99.5032.2 | 01:05:54

When trombonist/producer Wayne Henderson, pianist/keyboardist Joe Sample, sax-man Wilton Felder, and drummer Stix Hooper changed their name from the Jazz Crusaders to the Crusaders back in 1971, it signaled a more R&B-minded direction for the group – they were always funky, but in the '70s, they became even funkier. And so, the names the Crusaders and the Jazz Crusaders came to stand for two different things – if the Jazz Crusaders were synonymous with a funky yet acoustic-oriented approach to hard bop (à la Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers), the Crusaders were about electric-oriented jazz-funk and fusion. In 1995, Henderson (who left the Crusaders in 1975) resurrected the name the Jazz Crusaders and produced Happy Again for the small, Los Angeles-based Sin-drome Records.

The Crusaders - Images (1978) Remastered 2009

Posted By: Designol
The Crusaders - Images (1978) Remastered 2009

The Crusaders - Images (1978) Remastered 2009
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 266 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 110 Mb | Scans included
Crossover Jazz, Fusion, Jazz-Funk | Label: Verve | # 0602517995710 | Time: 00:39:44

Possessing not the greatest album sleeve in history - "Images" was nonetheless a bit of a Jazz-Funk peach. Produced by "Stix" Hooper, Wilton Felder & Joe Sample for "Crusader Productions, Inc." and mastered by long-standing expert Bernie Grundman, it followed so much of their Seventies output - really well-produced instrumental funky tracks followed by mellow ones that filled both the floor and the heart at one and the same time. Remastered from the original tapes by KEVIN REEVES at Universal Mastering in the States, it now sounds FABULOUS - really clear and defined - and virtually hiss-free. After a whole decade and umpteen albums of their particular type of funk & jazz, the same team that handled "Images" would finally hit paydirt a year later in 1979 with the global smash of "Street Life" and make Randy Crawford a star.

The Crusaders - Street Life (1979) Reissue 1996

Posted By: Designol
The Crusaders - Street Life (1979) Reissue 1996

The Crusaders - Street Life (1979) Reissue 1996
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 243 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 97 Mb | Scans included
Jazz-Funk, Disco, Soul, Crossover Jazz | Label: Blue Thumb | # BTD-701 | Time: 00:39:22

Although the Crusaders could not have known it at the time, their recording of "Street Life" (which features a memorable vocal by Randy Crawford) was a last hurrah for the 20-year old group. Their recordings of the next few years would decline in interest until the band gradually faded away in the '80s. However this particular set is well worth picking up for the 11-minute title cut and there is good playing by the three original members (Wilton Felder on tenor, soprano and electric bass, keyboardist Joe Sample and drummer Stix Hooper) along with guitarist Barry Finnerty; horn and string sections, plus additional guitarists are utilized on Sample's commercial but listenable arrangements.

The Crusaders - Scratch (1974) Reissue 1997

Posted By: Designol
The Crusaders - Scratch (1974) Reissue 1997

The Crusaders - Scratch (1974) Reissue 1997
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 256 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 108 Mb | Scans included
Jazz-Funk, Fusion, Soul Jazz, Hard Bop | Label: MCA | # MCAD-37072 | 00:40:24

Recorded live at the Roxy, Scratch was one of the Crusaders' best recordings, an extravaganza of jazz and funk with great soloing from the group on top of a set of excellent grooves. From the loose-limbed funk of "Scratch" to a restless, understated version of their live standard "Eleanor Rigby" (which they'd been performing live for over six years), the Crusaders displayed a command of R&B forms in a jazz context. Another cover, Carole King's "So Far Away," is betrayed by a muddy '70s arrangement and sound, but nothing else here fails to illustrate the excellence of the best R&B group in the jazz world.

The Crusaders - Chain Reaction (1975)

Posted By: Designol
The Crusaders - Chain Reaction (1975)

The Crusaders - Chain Reaction (1975)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 250 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 106 Mb | Scans included
Jazz-Funk, Fusion, Crossover Jazz | Label: MCA | # MCAD-1648 | Time: 00:40:36

One of the tastiest concoctions of the mid-'70s jazz-fusion era, Chain Reaction finds the Crusaders at the top of their form. The compositions are both accessible and memorable, and the playing is uniformly excellent. Guitarist Larry Carlton delivers some of his finest licks and funkified rhythm work. Wayne Henderson shows there is a place in fusion for the trombone. Wilton Felder does double duty, delivering smoking saxophone lines and funky bass riffs. Joe Sample's Fender Rhodes piano provides a solid chordal foundation and great solos. And the stickman, Stix Hooper, keeps the groove solid. The band employs a variety of rhythms and tempos, and gives the members plenty of room to strut their individual and collective stuff. In fact, "collective" may be the key word here, for this is the sound of a band, not just a group of guys thrown together for a recording session. Chain Reaction was one of the albums that helped lure young, rock and soul-oriented listeners over to check out the jazz side, and should not be missed by those interested in the more accessible, funky side of fusion.

Pat Metheny Group - Speaking Of Now (2002)

Posted By: Designol
Pat Metheny Group - Speaking Of Now (2002)

Pat Metheny Group - Speaking Of Now (2002)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 436 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 165 Mb | Scans ~ 60 Mb
Contemporary Jazz, Fusion | Label: Warner Bros. | # 9362 48025-2 | Time: 01:12:04

Speaking of Now finds guitarist Metheny leading a retooled Pat Metheny Group; in addition to longtime core members, keyboardist Lyle Mays and bassist Steve Rodby, the Group now includes drummer Antonio Sanchez, trumpeter/vocalist Cuong Vu, and Richard Bona, who's best known as a bassist, but who functions primarily as the Group's percussionist/vocalist. The result is an exquisite album that features fresh new musical perspectives while losing none of the Group's familiar wide-ranging, melodic, always accessible sound. Most of the tracks on Speaking of Now were composed by Metheny and his longtime collaborator Mays, although three tracks were composed solely by Metheny. There's a buoyant feel to this album that is not to be confused with lightness. This is complex, intricately detailed music that reveals additional layers with each listening. Metheny seems to delight in discovering the myriad means by which his prodigiously accomplished bandmembers can provide coloration to the compositions, both within the larger group and in solo spotlights.

Pat Metheny with Dave Holland & Roy Haynes - Question And Answer (1990)

Posted By: Designol
Pat Metheny with Dave Holland & Roy Haynes - Question And Answer (1990)

Pat Metheny with Dave Holland & Roy Haynes - Question And Answer (1990)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 401 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 178 Mb | Scans included
Label: Geffen | # GED 24293, GEFD 24293 | Time: 01:02:53
Contemporary Jazz, Post-Bop, Guitar Jazz

Here you have three absolutely breathtaking jazz performers locked into a studio for a day or so. From this combination of guitar, standup bass, and acoustic drum kit, you've got nine tracks of sheer jazz joy – three guys just blowing for the hell of it, recorded on the fly. There's a strong sense here that engineer Rob Eaton probably tried to get everybody properly set up and balanced before the session started and just gave up when everybody started playing. It's a delight to hear, because everything has gone into the performance, which is spontaneous and graceful – no going back for the next take here. Pat Metheny's playing is definitely modernistic, highly fluid, almost liquid lightning – no effects boxes here, though (he does play Synclavier on the last track, "Three Flights Up," but it's great anyway). Roy Haynes, likewise, should be heard by anybody wanting to get behind the traps: this man has a sense of humor, and he's a blur of motion. Dave Holland, on bass, is no slouch either, keeping pace with Metheny's guitar lines, and balancing up against Haynes' drums. Together, these guys are incredible.

Pat Metheny Group - The Road To You: Recorded Live in Europe (1993)

Posted By: Designol
Pat Metheny Group - The Road To You: Recorded Live in Europe (1993)

Pat Metheny Group - The Road To You: Recorded Live in Europe (1993)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 432 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 169 Mb
Label: Geffen | # GED 24601 | Time: 01:14:01 | Scans ~ 35 Mb
Jazz Fusion, Contemporary Jazz, World Fusion

When Metheny celebrates his cerebral side, he usually follows up with something more accessible. After his difficult yet rewarding collaboration with John Scofield, I Can See Your House from Here, Metheny stresses accessibility with this captivating live album. The primary focus is on his Brazilian-influenced material from Still Life (Talking) and Letter from Home, and the very cohesive Pat Metheny Group offers characteristically expressive versions of such favorites as "Have You Heard," "Beat 70," and "Better Days Ahead." While he could have offered a wider variety of material and perhaps revisited some of his early gems, everything that he does include comes across as honest and heartfelt. Thankfully, Metheny's emphasis on accessibility and crowd-pleasing doesn't come at the expense of his artistic integrity.

Pat Metheny Group - Offramp (1982)

Posted By: Designol
Pat Metheny Group - Offramp (1982)

Pat Metheny Group - Offramp (1982)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 245 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 118 Mb
Label: ECM | # ECM 1216, 817 138-2 | Time: 00:42:25 | Scans included
Contemporary Jazz, Crossover Jazz, Fusion

If 1980's As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls was defined by Pat Metheny's charisma, its less accessible but certainly rewarding successor, Offramp, finds him leaning more toward the abstract. But as cerebral as Metheny gets on such atmospheric pieces as "Are You Going with Me?" and "Au Lait," his playing remains decidedly lyrical and melodic. Clearly influenced by Jim Hall, the thoughtful Metheny makes excellent use of space, choosing his notes wisely and reminding listeners that, while he has heavy-duty chops, he's not one to beat everybody over the head with them. Even when he picks up the tempo for the difficult and angular title song, he shuns empty musical acrobatics. Throughout the CD, Metheny enjoys a powerful rapport with keyboardist Lyle Mays, who also avoids exploiting his technique and opts for meaningful storytelling.

Pat Metheny - Secret Story (1992)

Posted By: Designol
Pat Metheny - Secret Story (1992)

Pat Metheny - Secret Story (1992)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 436 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 175 Mb | Scans ~ 63 Mb
Label: Geffen | # GED 24468, GEFD 24468 | Time: 01:16:26
Crossover Jazz, World Fusion, Ethnic Jazz, Guitar Jazz

Secret Story is among the more provocative recordings in Pat Metheny's oeuvre. Combining the relaxed groove of the early Pat Metheny Group recordings, it is full of odd sounds, exotic instrumentation, and the participation of members of the London Orchestra conducted by Jeremy Lubbock. Along with regular group members – bassist Steve Rodby, drummer Paul Wertico, percussionist Naná Vasconcelos, pianist-keyboardist Lyle Mays – numerous guests adorn these tracks as well: bassists Charlie Haden and Will Lee, percussionist Armando Marcal, vocalist Mark Ledford, jazz harmonica legend Toots Thielmans, Gil Goldstein, and Pat's brother Mike Metheny. But what's most notable is that none of these players are constants, as this is most certainly a Metheny solo effort: Secret Story is his own song, so to speak. His acoustic and electric guitars are augmented by synthesizers and samplers, and no matter how lush these proceedings get, they are never overwhelmed by production.

John Pizzarelli - John Pizzarelli meets The Beatles (1998) Japanese Reissue 2007

Posted By: Designol
John Pizzarelli - John Pizzarelli meets The Beatles (1998) Japanese Reissue 2007

John Pizzarelli - John Pizzarelli meets The Beatles (1998) Japanese Reissue 2007
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 276 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 110 Mb | Scans ~ 48 Mb
Label: RCA/BMG Japan | # BVCJ-37562 | Time: 00:46:04
Vocal Jazz, Swing, Guitar Jazz, Pop/Rock

Beatles fans love to explain that the key to the successful partnership of John Lennon and Paul McCartney was their contrasting songwriting personalities – Lennon was the tongue in cheek sardonic wit, McCartney the earnest balladeer. On John Pizzarelli Meets the Beatles, a sharply conceived tribute which sets the duo's classics in a jazz trio with big-band arrangements, the singer/guitarist hits the mark more often when he's taking on the Lennon persona. He approaches "Cant' Buy Me Love," "When I'm 64," and "Get Back" with a playful wink, jumping off his speedy melody lines and the rising brass sections for extended improvisational tradeoffs with pianist Ray Kennedy, and adding colorful touches like scatting and even ad libbing his own lyrical verses based on the originals.

Lee Ritenour - Rio (1979) & On the Line (1983) [Reissue 2005]

Posted By: gribovar
Lee Ritenour - Rio (1979) & On the Line (1983) [Reissue 2005]

Lee Ritenour - Rio (1979) & On the Line (1983) [Reissue 2005]
EAC Rip | FLAC (tracks+.cue+log) - 443 MB | MP3 CBR 320 kbps (LAME 3.93) - 180 MB | Covers - 5 MB
Genre: Crossover Jazz, Smooth Jazz | RAR 3% Rec. | Label: Wounded Bird Records (WOU 310)

This Lee Ritenour twin pack consists of two albums that were originally recorded by JVC for the Japanese market and saw release in the U.S., almost as an afterthought. The proof of this is that Rio and On the Line were licensed for American issue first by Elektra before getting their subsequent GRP packages. By the time GRP put them on the market, these packages were separated by a decade in terms of recording time. Rio is an all acoustic recording which has aged quite nicely over the decades, while On the Line, with three different bands and a handful of direct-to-some-kind-of-digital processes, sounds flat, dated, and in places simply tired. Hardcore Rit fans won't care, but novices should be wary.

George Benson - Livin' Inside Your Love (1979)

Posted By: Designol
George Benson - Livin' Inside Your Love (1979)

George Benson - Livin' Inside Your Love (1979)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 388 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 190 Mb | Scans included
Crossover Jazz, Smooth Jazz, Guitar Jazz | Label: Warner Bros. | # 3277-2 | 01:06:49

The success of Weekend in L.A. no doubt prompted producer Tommy LiPuma and Warner Bros. to give George Benson another double album (now on one CD) – and this, like its three Warner predecessors, also went Top Ten. It is also, alas, slicker, more romantic in mood, and more bound by perceptions of formula than the others, fussed over in three different studios in earnest search of another hit single (the dance-tempo cover of L.T.D.'s "Love Ballad"). Most of the touring band, including Ronnie Foster, Ralph MacDonald and Phil Upchurch, is back, and Claus Ogerman's soft symphonic touch provides most of the backdrops, with Mike Mainieri supplying the orchestra on three tracks. Even at this point, the great guitarist is still given much room to burn – the balance between instrumentals and vocals remains close – and Benson comes up with some tasty stuff when the rhythm section pushes him on "Nassau Day" and "You're Never Too Far from Me." Ultimately there is just enough jazz content amid the velvet soul to keep guitar buffs interested.