From time to time I post on great downloads that likely have escaped your radar. I do this because iTunes and Amazon can't seem to find a proper way to let consumers know about their latest digital releases. Or in other cases, great downloads are sitting around hidden under artists' names. Still others are clumsily misfiled by iTunes, dooming them to limbo.
(If you want to see the other seven volumes in this ongoing series, simply type "Hidden Jazz Downloads" into the search engine in the upper right-hand corner.)
After roaming iTunes and Amazon recently, I came across five downloads that I think you'll enjoy:
Freddie Hubbard: The Artistry of Freddie Hubbard — Out of print for some time, this 1962 Impulse release was just reissued as part of Verve Music Group's "Originals" series. The date features Hubbard on trumpet, Curtis Fuller on trombone, John Gilmore on tenor sax, Tommy Flanagan on piano, Art Davis on bass and Louis Hayes on drums. This was Hubbard's first date as a leader for Impulse, having played as a sideman for the label in 1961 on Curtis Fuller's Soul Trombone, John Coltrane's Africa Brass and Oliver Nelson's Blues and the Abstract Truth. This album is interesting in that you hear Hubbard beginning to ditch his hard bop, Blue Note sound for a more fiery style that he'd continue to develop throughout the decade.
Benny Goodman: Yale University Archives (Vol. 3) — Recorded privately by Goodman during a performance tour in Brussels in 1958, this album may be gathering a bit of moss. At iTunes, when you type "Benny Goodman + Yale" into the search engine, you only see four albums. You have to click "see all" in the upper right-hand corner of the iTunes screen to view the entire series. Vol. 3 swings and features Jimmy Rushing and Ethel Ennis on vocals as well as legends Zoot Sims, Billy Bauer and Roland Hanna. Best of all, you'll hear a splendid arrangement of I'm Coming Virginia (which features Rushing and Sims). But the show-stopper for me is Goodman's nonet playing Soon, with an Early Autumn-like arrangement by Bobby Gutesha.
Sarah Vaughan: Feelin' Good — I love Vaughan's husky interpretations of 1970s pop songs. This album for Mainstream from 1972 features warm arrangements by Peter Matz, Michel Legrand, Jack Elliott and Allyn Ferguson. Dig Just a Little Lovin' made famous by Dusty Springfield, or Rainy Days and Mondays, the Carpenters' hit. Heck, even Alone Again (Naturally) sounds great here under Sassy's care. This one wasn't issued on CD, and the LP is pricey.
Terry Gibbs: Swing Is Here—No matter the album, Gibbs always swings on vibes, often with great sidemen aboard. The band on this 1960 recording was particularly hot: Al Porcino, Conte Candoli, Ray Triscari, Stu Williamson and John Audino (trumpets), Bob Enevoldsen, Frank Rosolino, Tom Shepard and Bob Pring (trombones), Joe Maini and Charlie Kennedy (alto saxes), Bill Perkins and Med Flory (tenor sax), Jack Schwartz (baritone sax), Terry Gibbs (vibes), Lou Levy (piano), Buddy Clark (bass) and Mel Lewis (drums). The band bolts for the woods on the first track and never looks back. It was just released as part of Verve's "Originals" series.
Junior Cook: Junior's Cookin' — If you dig Horace Silver's Doin' the Thing, you'll love this album. Cook recorded the date with the exact same Silver lineup, except with Dolo Coker on piano. Half the album was recorded on April 10, 1961. Then Cook and the Horace Silver Quintet went into New York's Village Gate, where Doin' the Thing was recorded in May. The rest of Junior's Cookin' was recorded in December. It's superb all the way through, and Coker does his best to fill in for Silver.