quinta-feira, 22 de dezembro de 2016

Billy Butler | Night Life

This disc is a welcome introduction to one of the great, all-but-lost talents in jazz history. Billy Butler was a guitarist's guitarist and an innovator in both production and arrangements. This disc is solid from top to bottom and reveals the restless spirit of a quiet yet demanding artist. 

Billy Butler is well known to guitarists only, as the co-author of the early R&B funked-up standard "Honky Tonk," with organist Bill Doggett. The two albums featured in this single disc two-fer reissue -- Guitar Soul and Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, both released in 1970 -- offer a wider view of the man and his music.

Night Life is the fourth album by guitarist Billy Butler which was recorded in 1971 and released on the Prestige label. The album was released on CD combined with Butler's debut album This Is Billy Butler! as Billy Butler: Legends of Acid Jazz in 1998 but, confusingly, was not part the CD release also titled Night Life which compiled Butler's other two albums for Prestige Guitar Soul! and Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow.

A greatly in-demand studio player throughout his life, guitarist Billy Butler fortunately had opportunities to lead four albums for Prestige along with a couple of slightly later European records. Butler was a versatile musician who, on ballads in particular displayed a very interesting sound, sometimes sliding between notes as if he were playing a steel guitar. This 1998 CD reissues all of the music from Butler's first (This Is Billy Butler) and fourth (Night Life) Prestige records. Despite the generic title and a few grooving tracks, the music doesn't have much to do with acid jazz and is generally in the soul jazz vein. Butler performs some standards (including "Work Song," "Wave," "In a Mellow Tone" and a memorable rendition of "Cherry") along with some basic originals. His sidemen include either Houston Person or Jesse Powell on tenors, Ernie Hayes or Johnny "Hammond" Smith on keyboards (electric piano or organ), electric bassist Bob Bushnell, and Rudy Collins or Jimmy Johnson on drums. This is the definitive Billy Butler release and is highly recommended, particularly to listeners not familiar with his rather distinctive sound.

 {by Scott Yanow | Allmusic}

Billy Butler - Guitar
Johnny Hammond Smith - Organ, Electric Piano (#A3)
Jesse Powell - Tenor Saxophone
Houston Person - Tenor Saxophone (#A3,B3)
Bob Bushnell - Electric Bass
Jimmy Johnson – Drums

A1. Nightlife {Walt Breeland, Paul Buskirk, Willie Nelson} 00:00
A2. Wave {Antonio Carlos Jobim} 05:57
A3. Watch What Happens {Jacques Demy, Norman Gimbel, Michel Legrand} 11:49
B1. Peacock Alley {Billy Butler, Bill Doggett} 16:52
B2. Prelude To A Kiss {Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, Irving Gordon} 21:00
B3. In A Mellotone {Duke Ellington, Milt Gabler} 26:07

Recorded in 1971 at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
-Prestige Records 

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