Gift Guide

Published: Nov 28, 2004

Many moods of jazz
By OWEN CORDLE, Correspondent

Branford Marsalis, "Coltrane's A Love Supreme Live in Amsterdam" (Marsalis Music). Here's a chance to see tenor saxophonist Branford Marsalis on DVD performing John Coltrane's revered "A Love Supreme" suite. It's an audacious step for the famous Durham resident, one that pays worthy homage in terms of technique, spirit and purpose. The package also contains generous DVD interview footage and a CD of the concert.

Charlie Musselwhite, "Sanctuary" (Realworld). The Mississippi bluesman's "Sanctuary" is a dark place where singing and playing harmonica and guitar reflective of the starkness and darkness might offer hope. A superbly produced deep blues album.

Susan Reeves, "Alive!" (Bent 4 Music). Local jazz singer with local duo at local jazz club -- another example of Triangle talent that transcends the backwater connotation of "local." Reeves studied under Mary Lou Williams and Paul Jeffrey at Duke. She sings Clifford Brown's challenging "Joy Spring," reason enough to commend this CD.

Ted Rosenthal-Bob Brookmeyer, "One Night in Vermont" (Planet Arts). Does anyone improvise more lyrically than valve trombonist Brookmeyer? He and pianist Rosenthal spread mood, melody and warmth throughout this impromptu get-together, one of the best jazz albums of the year.

Clark Terry with Jeff Lindberg and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, "Porgy & Bess" (A440 Music Group). Miles Davis and Gil Evans recorded the critically accepted classic jazz version of "Porgy & Bess" in 1958. The affable Terry, Davis' mentor, waited until he was in his early 80s to have a go at it -- with the original Evans arrangements. Even the hard-nosed, unsmiling Davis would have a soft spot for Terry's charming interpretation and unwavering chops.

"Phil Woods and Carl Saunders Play Henry Mancini" (Jazzed Media). The devious musical minds of alto saxophonist Woods and trumpeter Saunders concoct improvisations that'll make you laugh out loud at their brilliance. This is a fun session that swings so hard it could levitate an elephant.

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