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, Buster 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 of Life. 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 a previously 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.
1 - Years of Dreaming
2 - Every Time We Say Good-bye
3 - April Morning
4 - Old Folks
5 - Now Please Don’t You Cry, Beautiful Edith
6 - Just You
7 - Bright Moments
8 - Billy
9 - Warm Valley
10 - In a Sentimental Mood