Friday, May 08, 2009

Modern Jazz (1986, mp3)

Back in February I wrote about a CD called First Class Jazz. It was a CD that was released by Realistic (as in Radio Shack), and was one of several digitally-recorded CDs that they carried in the early years of the compact disc player.

A few weeks ago someone came across my post and offered to email me another jazz CD put out by Radio Shack, so over the course of several days, one track at a time, I downloaded the entire disc via email.

At my best guess, First Class Jazz came out in 1984. Modern Jazz was put out in 1986. Where First Class is a collection of more traditional jazz standards, Modern Jazz is a collection of less traditional, more electronic (in some cases), and more on the fusion edge of jazz. I really like it.

Track list:
1. Acousticity - David Grisman
2. New Places, New Faces - Joe Sample
3. Sophistication - Cabo Frio
4. Jesse James - Skyhawk
5. Sonja's Sanfora - Yellowjackets
6. Freefall - Spyro Gyra
7. High Steppin' - Larry Carlton
8. Put it Where You Want It (Live) - The Crusaders

In 1986 this would still have been quite new(-ish) music, and would have been a great introduction to for someone new to the more fusion area of the jazz genre.

David Grisman is a "newgrass" composer and mandolin player who creates music that is jazz heavily tinged with bluegrass. I haven't heard much of this kind of music, but everything I've heard, I liked.

Joe Sample I've heard of before, mostly via KRTU. He is a keyboardist who was also the leader of The Crusaders before they went their separate ways.

I'm also somewhat familiar with Larry Carlton (guitar player), Yellowjackets and Spyro Gyra. Those two groups are considered "fusion" by most folks. I have one Yellowjackets CD. Spyro Gyra is a group who I've always wanted to investigate but never got around to it.

I had never heard of Cabo Frio or Skyhawk before. Cabo Frio has a website where they call themselves "smooth jazz" (gack!). Maybe they market better that way. I can't find anything about a group called Skyhawk.

A very cool collection. Whoever put these discs together for Radio Shack knew what they were doing.


  1. Looks like a good compilation.

    The Yellowjackets track, Sonja's Sanfona, was off their Shades album, which was also released in 1986, their fourth album and first for MCA. The track was written by Jimmy Haslip and Bill Gable. Bruce Hornsby plays accordion on this track. Jimmy later returned the favor by playing bass on Bruce's Harbor Lights and Hot House albums.

    Shades is a cool album, the title track of which was written by Donald Fagen (of Steely Dan). The cut "And You Know That" was awarded a Grammy. And "Revelation" has been covered several times by various artists (most notably by Robben Ford and by Michael Franks). It remains a live staple for the Jackets, I've heard them play it almost every time I've seen them live.

  2. I've been looking for this CD for years. I've mailed both Radio Shack (US) and Tandy (Europe) but to no avail.

    Is there any chance that you can help me out here?

  3. I got the Album 1n 1986 from Radio Shack always loved it!

  4. Wow. I heard this in the shop where I bought my hi-fi in the 80's. Eventually, technology caught up and SongHound told me what the tracks were; then a friend did a bit of digging and found out that it was this CD. I'm having problems finding it for sale; especially as any search turns back a flood of hits! Any chance of some help please, like bar code, etc?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  5. Their original catalog number was 51-5006. That's the only other information I have. I can email you the tracks if you want. It's out of print, so you probably aren't going to find it for sale anywhere.

  6. Wow, if you could, that would be wonderful. Do you have my e-mail addy?

  7. No, I don't see it on your website. Just email me at the address I have on the top of the sidebar and I'll send them to you.