Ballads in Jazz features some of the
finest jazz artists who have recorded on the Metropolitan Records
label. Sit back, relax and listen to some of the best jazz standards
as well as several new ballads destined to become classics as well.
Years of Dreaming, written and performed by saxophonist Todd
Herbert, is a beautiful yet contemplative jazz ballad. This track
is from the 2008 release The Tree of Life featuring Todd Herbert
on tenor saxophone, Anthony Wonsey on piano, Dwayne Burno on
bass and Jason Brown on drums.
The trio arrangement by Billy Childs of the classic Every
Time We Say Good-Bye comes directly from one of Metropolitan
Record’s most requested releases Skim Coat.
This famed trio of jazz musicians includes Billy Childs on piano,
Williams on bass and drummer Carl Allen.
Not everyone realizes that the jazz icon Rahsaan Roland Kirk
penned beautiful ballads including the three on this compilation.
April Morning, which features Justin Robinson
on alto saxophone, Xavier Davis on piano, Dwayne Burno on bass
and Nasheet Waits
on drums, comes directly from the tribute CD to Rahsaan – Haunted
Melodies: Songs of Rahsaan Roland Kirk.
The beautiful ballad Old Folks was recorded
by the pianist Xavier Davis on his first CD as a leader – Dance
This track features the trio with Xavier Davis on piano, Dwayne
Burno on bass and Carl Allen on drums.
Now Please Don’t You Cry, Beautiful Edith is
a poignant rendition of one of Rahsaan’s finest ballads
recorded by Joe Lovano on the straight tenor sax, Jaki Byard
on piano, Dwayne
Burno on bass and Nasheet Waits on drums. This track comes directly
from Metropolitan’s Haunted Melodies: Songs
of Rahsaan Roland Kirk.
Just You, an original ballad written and performed by pianist
Linda Presgrave, was one of the tracks from her debut CD as a
leader – In Your Eyes. Featured artists performing with
Linda are the wonderful tenor player John Stubblefield, Carline
Ray on bass and Wade Barnes on drums.
The iconic Bright Moments immediately brings
composer and saxophonist Rahsaan Roland Kirk to mind. Here, in
unreleased track by the wonderful pianist Jaki Byard, a personal
tribute to Rahsaan is demonstrated so eloquently in this solo
piano version. This came from the archives of the recording session
of Haunted Melodies: Songs of Rahsaan Roland Kirk.
Melba Liston wrote many beautiful songs that are seldom recorded
or even heard. Billy is a lovely ballad played
here by Metropolitan Records artist Linda Presgrave on piano
with Stan Chovnick on
soprano sax, Wei-Sheng Lin on bass and Seiji Ochiai on drums
from the CD The Journey.
A jazz ballad compilation would not be complete without several
standards by Duke Ellington. Warm Valley is
a beautiful rendering performed here in a duo setting from Mellow
Soul with Pete Yellin
on alto sax and Peter Leitch on guitar.
In a Sentimental Mood, one of Duke Ellington’s most
popular compositions, features the lush tones of Vincent Herring
on alto sax, Ronnie Mathews at the piano, Richie Goods holding
down the bass line and Carl Allen keeping impeccable time. This
group is collectively known as the Sterling Place All-Stars which
is also the name of their release on Metropolitan Records.