Plugged-In To The Past: Hampton Hawes - "Northern Windows"

Plugged-In To The Past: Hampton Hawes - "Northern Windows"

Hampton Hawes spent 1972 through 1974 recording for Prestige Records where he explored the possibilities that electronic keyboards could provide in a jazz setting. David Axelrod serves as the arranger on the album, adding his unique set of funky skills as an arranger and producer to the proceedings.

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Milt & Horace Are Some Cool Cats: Milt Jackson - "Milt Jackson Quartet"

Milt & Horace Are Some Cool Cats: Milt Jackson - "Milt Jackson Quartet"

Milt Jackson Quartet features Milt Jackson leading a group that includes two of his cohorts in the Modern Jazz Quartet, with the great Horace Silver sitting in on the piano. Jackson was clearly skilled in this brass-less setting, and the group decided to lay down some cool jazz tracks that epitomize the sound of that movement in the mid-1950s. The tunes are mellow and fluid, with everyone falling into an easy groove that will move even the most uptight jazz fan. 

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Wardell Gray - "Memorial, Volume One"

Wardell Gray - "Memorial, Volume One"

I came across this one recently in the Jazz bins at my local record shop, and while I recognized the cover I was not at all familiar with the playing or story of Wardell Gray. My first instinct, and a good one as it turns out, was to check the label and - bingo! - it was a vintage yellow "fireworks" pressing. Whether the music turned out to be worthwhile or otherwise, the label pretty much sold me on picking up the record for the measly asking price of $13, I mean how could I pass up an original mid-1950's Prestige album?  As it turns out, a few needle drops on the store's turntable convinced me that this LP was going to be some fun listening, whether it was an original or not. 

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Oliver Nelson - "Nocturne"

Oliver Nelson - "Nocturne"

Oliver Nelson will always be best known for his 1961 masterpiece The Blues And The Abstract Truth on Impulse!, but he also made some excellent records for Prestige in the years just preceding that release. One of the lesser known ones is Nocturne, an LP released on the Moodsville subset of Prestige in 1960. 

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