Strata Far East
Jazz bassist Teruo Nakamura 's Unicorn debut disc was originally released on the Japanese Three Blind Mice label, but listening back to deeply spiritual jams like Umma Be Me and Understanding - soulfully sung by Sandy Hewitt - on the Soul Brother label's recent reissue of the awesome 73 session, you'd swear it was a long-lost Strata East joint. Considering that Nakamura was joined by trumpeter Charles Sullivan , pianist George Cables and Rhodes stylist Hubert Eaves III along with drummers Lenny White and Alphonse Mouzon , the unmistakable underground New York vibe that characterizes the set isn't surprising. Sweet.
Half Moon rising
Back in the late 70s, local producer Oswald Creary and the Super 8 Corporation rhythm unit, working as Half Moon Productions , put down some of the most righteous roots reggae grooves this side of Bullwackies . The fabulous Glory Dominion Power Majesty (PK Records) double LP - housed in a snazzy silkscreened throwback sleeve - collects some of Half Moon's deepest and deadliest dubs involving Stranger Cole , Johnny Osbourne , Leroy Sibbles , Pluggy Satchmo and Joe Higgs , who delivers his classic, Creation. A thriller.
Recorded in a Stockholm club last year, the Free Music Ensemble 's Live At The Glenn Miller Café disc - just issued in a numbered edition of just 760 copies by OkkaDisk (www.okkadisk.com) - finds Chicago saxophone firebrand Ken Vandermark improvisationally duking it out with rock-solid bassist Nate McBride and aggressive drummer Paal Nilssen-Love . It turns out this passionately swinging getdown and FME's much-anticipated Toronto appearance Friday (December 5) at the Tranzac Club are just a warm-up for their upcoming studio showdown next month. Catch 'em while you can.