A Sense Of Purpose: Larry Young - "Unity"

A Sense Of Purpose: Larry Young - "Unity"

On Unity Larry Young showed the world he was no longer simply a Jimmy Smith clone, but instead revealed that his creative spirit was more aligned with the adventurous post bop and avant garde leanings that were emerging in jazz in the mid-1960s. Joined by Joe Henderson, Elvin Jones and a young Woody Shaw, Unity is a truly adventurous classic from the latter stages of the Blue Note catalog.

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Doing His Thing: Woody Shaw - "United"

Doing His Thing: Woody Shaw - "United"

Woody Shaw's last album for Columbia is a wonderful straight-ahead jazz session, with his quintet of talented players being joined by Gary Bartz on two tracks. As usual, Shaw was forging ahead with inventive ideas at a time when very few others in the commercial jazz world were following his lead.

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Complex Beauty: Herbie Hancock - "Speak Like A Child"

Complex Beauty: Herbie Hancock - "Speak Like A Child"

On his second to last recording for Blue Note, Herbie stays on the creative hot streak he was on with Maiden Voyage, this time employing some more complex arrangements to create an absolutely beautiful record that remains one of his great musical statements. 

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All Together Now: Charlie Rouse - "Two Is One"

All Together Now: Charlie Rouse - "Two Is One"

Charlie Rouse takes a break from his usual hard bop excellence for a funky and often spiritual soul jazz excursion on the always stimulating Strata-East label. The resulting album might be hard to find, but offers the open-minded listener some excellent and adventurous early-seventies jazz music.

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Bright Pieces: Elvin Jones - "Merry Go Round"

Bright Pieces: Elvin Jones - "Merry Go Round"

On Merry Go Round the great Elvin Jones leads a large group of musicians including David Liebman, Steve Grossman and Gene Perla (all members of his touring group at this time), as well as his early-Blue Note partner Joe Farrell who was always at the top of his game playing alongside Jones. The resulting LP is a strong early seventies post bop record with some funky soul jazz thrown in for good measure.

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Snap Crackle: Roy Haynes Quartet - "Out Of The Afternoon"

Snap Crackle: Roy Haynes Quartet - "Out Of The Afternoon"

Roy Haynes steps out of his usual role as a master sideman to lead an exciting and adventurous session that features the outsized talents of Roland Kirk. It's an under-appreciated gem of a record from jazz's golden age that also showcases the playing of Tommy Flanagan and Henry Grimes.

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