Another week and more work-related travel. Got to spend some of yesterday afternoon in Madison WI, one of my favorite cities in the country. And in the 40s in February -- what a treat!
Madision is a great university community with good food, shops, and a commitment to public transportation, pedestrians, and bicycles. Basically an urbanist's dream. And like many of the other places I have been passing through lately, Madison boasts a few new and used record/CD/memorabilia shops of note. I spent about 45 minutes at one, Sugarshack Records, 2301 Atwood Avenue, and it was like a trip into the past. Music of all kinds, tons of old records and CDs, artifacts, books, posters, etc. A disc of the Beatles radio interviews from 1964-65 -- talk about obscure.
Anyway, jazz is pretty well represented, with a couple of large tables full of mostly old CDs, all at reasonable prices. I picked up three things I had not seen previously and have gotten to listen to each once:
- Eric Alexander, "Straight Up", Delmark Records 1992 -- Early Alexander, in fact appears in discography as his first outing, with Harold Mabern piano, Jim Rotondi trumpet, John Webber bass , and George Fludas drums. As advertised, it is a nice straght-ahead interpretation of some standards, both uptempo and ballads. A nice start.
- Phil Woods and Lew Tabackin, "Phil Woods/Lew Tabackin", Evidence Records 1980 -- Alto Woods and Tenor Tabackin tear it up on "Limehouse Blues", and provide a sweet and lovely "Sweet and Lovely". Everything works well. Jimmy Rowles stands out on piano.
- Jeff Hamilton Trio, The Best Things Happen...", Azica Records 2004 -- Hamilton is a strong leader from the drum set, with a string of strong trio discs, and with another due this month. The twelve songs include some standards like "I Concentrate on You" and "Skylark" and a range of other songs by Ellington, Peggy Lee, and others. Tamir Hendelman plays a strong piano as the harmonic lead, wtih Christoph Luty plays bass. Ballads and up-tempo songs provide a nice variety.