CTI

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todays metro reviews a CTI retrospective, so it seems timely to ask, CTI, which are the best and worst of their records?

gareth, Monday, 18 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

CTI was super slick, covering some decent stuff in a string and horn drenched sheen. Freddie Hubbard's "Red Clay" is good. Also search their Kudu subsidiary; they released several superb LPs by the criminally overlooked Esther Phillips. None of them are on CD. "Black Eyed Blues", "From a Whisper to a Scream" and "Performance" are all highly recommended.

Sean, Monday, 18 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

CTI & Kudzu stuff always seemed like the best argument for sampling ever - the stuff made from bits and pieces of CTI records always sounds better than the over-long, over-produced slick original LP's. I sold a pile of CTI shit to a Japanese collector guy a couple of years ago for pretty good money. Anyone know if there's still a market for it?

fritz, Monday, 18 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I'm pretty sure nobody else is going to contribute to this thread, so let me add that I thought it was amusing how you could send in like $2.00 and get a photographic print of the album cover. Many of the CTI albums had nicely shot images on their covers, but not of the artists themselves, just of random images that tried to tie in with the album title. I'd love a nice big print of Esther Phillips, tho I don't think Kudu offered them.

Can I mention her name again? ESTHER PHILLIPS!!! Nobody cares about her. But I do.

Sean, Monday, 18 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Sean, I had Esther Phillips Alone again, naturally in the crate last weekend for a party!! I have 4 e.p. records.

Faves: Bob James 1&2, Randy Weston - blue moses, Freddie Hubbard - red clay, straight life, polar ac, sky dive, Idris Muhammad - Power of Soul (I have 6 of these!!! =obsessed) Joe Farrell - upon this rock, Deodato - prelude, Grover Washington Jr. (RIP) - mr. magic, feels so good, johnny hammond - higher ground, breakout, Quincy Jones - walking in space. shit there are so many good records.

Fritz you are right on about the samplability of these. even the bad ones are worth having to a beat maker.

Important to note: Rudy van Gelder is the fucking MAN. He recorded almost all of these albums and many Blue Note also. He has got to be the most important figure in the soul-jazz world.

Re: the covers. They had a groovy thing going. I investigated this a bit once, but didn't come up with much. This is Pete Turner's website, with a few of his best covers.

Ron, Monday, 18 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Alot of that shit is butter, and even some of the not-so-great records had some rewarding shit on it. I've been buying those things since 91 when they filled the bargain bin of my local record store. There's some cool shit on the early CTI records that were just Creed Taylor porduced joints on A&M... and there's cool shit on CTI affiliated labels like Salvation and Prophecy.

MARCOAST, Thursday, 21 March 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

four years pass...
ilm was very smart in the old days, and threads like this kind of got lost in the wayside, as people discussed the hives new album.

but today, i think we are all in a more CTI place aren't we? i know i am!

it won't surprise you to learn, that, as usual, i want to focus on the softer end (you have to understand i do this wearing white clothes, so its only fair), but you can focus just where you like

im going to buy 3 (yes 3!) CTI records, at my local record store, http://www.ebay.co.uk, today

but do you know what? i don;t know which ones! but you do, because i'm going to buy the ones you tell me to, today!

688, Friday, 2 March 2007 12:32 (twelve years ago) Permalink

This is Pete Turner's website, with a few of his best covers.

I just got his book. It's great.

it won't surprise you to learn, that, as usual, i want to focus on the softer end (you have to understand i do this wearing white clothes, so its only fair), but you can focus just where you like

Idris Muhammad's Power of Soul epitomizes CTI's soft end, no? He's wearing white on the cover, if that helps seal the deal.

I'd likely have a different answer tomorrow, but today I'll say Power of Soul, Gabor Szabo's Macho (technically Salvation but whatever), and Freddie Hubbard's Polar AC (though that's kind of heavy-soft).

However, I don't think you can get much softer than Seawind. "Lovin' You": oooooh.


Andy K, Friday, 2 March 2007 12:51 (twelve years ago) Permalink

No, wait -- substitute Szabo's Macho for Mizrab.

Andy K, Friday, 2 March 2007 12:54 (twelve years ago) Permalink

CTI records were sort of the guilty pleasure back in '98 or so when I'd spend hours in the listening library. Freddie Hubbard - Straight Life was a favorite.

Hurting 2, Friday, 2 March 2007 13:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I was just listening to Szabo's Mizrab--first side is really nice, esp. the title track, The second side errs on the side of easy listening--ok in a cheesy way, but not something I want to listen to all the time. Another CTI record I really like is Sunflower by Milt Jackson--a great band with Herbie Hancock on keys. Spacey, orchestral vibe-jazz! It is funny, CTI records are definitely the kind of thing I would've loathed four or five years ago, but now I love 'em! WHAT HAS HAPPPENED TO ME?!

tylerw, Friday, 2 March 2007 15:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I thought this was a Chris & Cosey thread.

sleeve, Friday, 2 March 2007 16:51 (twelve years ago) Permalink

shit.. me too

Jack Battery-Pack, Friday, 2 March 2007 17:41 (twelve years ago) Permalink

gareth, knowing your liking of both soft pop and california, check out any CTI records with the California Dreamers on it. Szabo's "Wind, Sky & Diamonds" is great as is Tom Scott's "The Honeysuckle Breeze" is fantastic, but a bit harder to get as it has the main sample for Pete Rock & CL Smooth's "They Reminisce Over You".

jaxon, Friday, 2 March 2007 17:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i just realized both of those records are on Impulse, but Creed Taylor was behind both of them, so....

jaxon, Saturday, 3 March 2007 08:33 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i love the mellow and unobtrusive the orchestra is on [i]sunflower]/i]

babedad, Saturday, 3 March 2007 11:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

meaning i love HOW mellow and...

babedad, Saturday, 3 March 2007 11:28 (twelve years ago) Permalink

sunflower

yikes

babedad, Saturday, 3 March 2007 11:28 (twelve years ago) Permalink

creed taylor had 1 awesome career in music business. president of impulse, spent time at Verve and A&M then formed CTI. I like the earliest less-pop-fused releases on this label, but it's been a revelation rediscovery the last year or two. back in the late 70s one of my college roomates had a very fusionoid jazz collection probably 1/2 his albums were CTI and at the time I thought their covers were the most interesting thing about em. Still I'm not wild about bob james or grover washington outside their breakbeats but there's a wealth of good groves and solid swing lurking in the CTI catalogue (the Kudu releases I'm less into). once again I WAS WRONG.

some faves:

Freddie Hubbard Red Clay
Freddie Hubbard Straight Time
Milt Jackson Sunflower
Milt Jackson Goodbye
Joe Farrell Moon Germs
Kenny Burrell God Bless The Child
George Benson Beyond the Blue Horizon
George Benson Body Talk
Astrud Gilberto ...with Turrentine{/i]
Stanley Turrentine Salt Song
Stanley Turrentine Sugar{/i]
Paul Desmond [i]Skylark{/i]
Jim Hall [i]Concierto

Ray Barretto [i]La Cuna

m coleman, Saturday, 3 March 2007 12:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

joe farrell is the shit

omar little, Friday, 28 September 2007 01:15 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Man I've got a big stack of CTI records in my collection that I've hardly listened to. Friends of the Library shops are full of this stuff outside of DC, can't believe how much of it is available for a $1 each at most.

Though there's a reason I don't often listen to it, some of it is a little too slick. The Freddie Hubbard stuff is great (especially Red Clay) but apart from that, I think I like my jazz a little rougher on the edges. Don't see myself playing much George Benson, Milt Jackson etc. much in the future.

The packaging on this stuff is great though. I think I like having George Benson's White Rabbit in my stack just for the cool cover, even though I really couldn't get past the first tune.

Mark Clemente, Friday, 28 September 2007 01:30 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I thought this was a Chris & Cosey thread AGAIN, goddammit.

sleeve, Friday, 28 September 2007 02:23 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Milt Jackson???? George Benson I can understand, tho not agree w/

deej, Friday, 28 September 2007 02:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I can't deal with the George Benson stuff either, usually, but I really like Milt Jackson on CTI (People Make the World Go Round!!!)

Hurting 2, Friday, 28 September 2007 03:15 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i would take jackson over hutcherson career-wise (maybe not 70s era but still)

deej, Friday, 28 September 2007 03:35 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I also lurve MJQ.

Hurting 2, Friday, 28 September 2007 03:35 (eleven years ago) Permalink

guys those geo benson albums are FONKY; nuthin liek Breezin & his crossover hits from the later 70s

m coleman, Friday, 28 September 2007 09:52 (eleven years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

anyone got this
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61hP2OvBcrL._SS400_.jpg
kinda tempted.

tylerw, Wednesday, 2 February 2011 16:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

sorry this is the descrip: "Remastered for the first time using the original two-track analog tapes, this brand new 4-CD set celebrates the vintage years of CTI, when a distinctive style and sound were born. Each disc represents an aspect of CTI s artistic personality straight-up jazz, big hits, the Brazilian influence and cool, classic sounds. Over 5 hours of music showcase all the major artists on the CTI roster, both in solo performances and in the unforgettable collaborations that made each CTI album so distinctive."

tylerw, Wednesday, 2 February 2011 16:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

my wife would kill me if i played this stuff around the house.

tylerw, Wednesday, 2 February 2011 16:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

my wife would kill me if i played this stuff around the house.

ditto to the power of 10.

i have the album thats shown in the lower left corner, rite of spring by hubert laws, which according to the label is remastered - but hey whatever !)

and to be honest, its not really been a heavy feature on the playlist, but thats more down to the fact it was 'hidden' in the archive until recently.

mark e, Wednesday, 2 February 2011 16:54 (eight years ago) Permalink

yeah, i've got a fair amount of the records represented, but i kind of like the idea of a CTI megamix. the deodato record is pretty tight.

tylerw, Wednesday, 2 February 2011 17:08 (eight years ago) Permalink

Hubert Laws doing Pink Floyd's Cymbaline
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZo7sSIKDGY

It's obvious Weezy is feeling Wang on this, (lpz), Wednesday, 2 February 2011 17:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

love CTI and usually buy anything I see that's cheap. the Tamba 4 albums on A&M are so good

i always thought the cover of Aja was designed in tribute to CTI, same overall design, liner notes, slick thick cardboard for the LP.

Mangrove Earthshoe (herb albert), Wednesday, 2 February 2011 17:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

Mr. Clean is definitely one of my favorite CTI tracks.

hey boys, suppers on me, our video just went bacterial (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 2 February 2011 17:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

Hubert Laws doing Pink Floyd's Cymbaline

Really gotta wonder how this came to be! I will rep for Grover Washington's "Feels So Good" (on Kudu, not CTI proper) til the end of time. <3<3<3 Eric Gale's guitar on "Knucklehead."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UiGYUKquQ0

Glorified Lolcat (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 2 February 2011 17:55 (eight years ago) Permalink

funny, re: aja/steely dan, i thought the same thing. but i think i read something where fagan said he *hated* all the fusion-y cti stuff from the 70s. which seemed weird. maybe they just liked the art direction.

tylerw, Wednesday, 2 February 2011 18:15 (eight years ago) Permalink

joe beck's guitar on "upon this rock" is sick

communist kickball (m coleman), Wednesday, 2 February 2011 20:55 (eight years ago) Permalink

Lalo Schifrin's instrumental disco album on CTI, Black Widow, is totally awesome, one of the best disco records of all time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHVHz7AKGqs&

Tuomas, Wednesday, 2 February 2011 21:13 (eight years ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coFPVTszo8o

jaxon, Wednesday, 2 February 2011 21:58 (eight years ago) Permalink

aight these are convincing me i should buy that set. and also visit my local used vinyl stuff and dig for more CTI.

tylerw, Wednesday, 2 February 2011 21:59 (eight years ago) Permalink

Another brilliant CTI album which mixes disco/funk & jazz is Idris Muhammad's House of the Rising Sun, which has some incredible grooves.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmooOTmGpMc&

This is my favourite version of all time of "House of the Rising Sun". OTOH, I've always found The Power of Soul, Idris' previous CTI album, to be a bit underwhelming. It's got some nice grooves too, but it's a bit too mellow even for a CTI record, doesn't really play to his strengths.

Tuomas, Wednesday, 2 February 2011 22:37 (eight years ago) Permalink

Nina Simone also released one album on CTI, Baltimore. Apparently she herself hated it, but IMO it's not bad at all, and the title tune especially is amazing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flsRJ1knNkA

Tuomas, Wednesday, 2 February 2011 22:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

this is one of my all time fave disco songs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a96OgR6hjDY

jaxon, Wednesday, 2 February 2011 22:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

Unfortunately the album that one's from has never been reissued. Hopefully Sony, or whoever owns CTI rights these days, will one day do that.

Tuomas, Wednesday, 2 February 2011 22:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

love to see this album reissued - title track is bomb

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZkbUAL3SfE

communist kickball (m coleman), Wednesday, 2 February 2011 22:54 (eight years ago) Permalink

Jaxon, that's that shit!

It's obvious Weezy is feeling Wang on this, (lpz), Wednesday, 2 February 2011 23:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

Lalo Schifrin's instrumental disco album on CTI, Black Widow, is totally awesome, one of the best disco records of all time.

ah yes.

this has been on my watch list ever since i picked up Towering Toccata which i picked up on the strength of the cover alone !

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51so9U6LS3L._SS500_.jpg

mark e, Thursday, 3 February 2011 09:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

Unfortunately, none of the linked stuff is on the box. It IS a nice way to dive into the label, though.

Wrong-Way Willy (Andy K), Thursday, 3 February 2011 11:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

this album is dope. straight-up jazz tho, like the early freddie hubbard CTI's - no semi-classical string arrangements or funky soul/disco backbeats, just swinging post-bop.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_IZsuFLnZYTA/SN90-2Vp6wI/AAAAAAAAALk/5y7V0LckfbI/s1600/all%2Bblues%2Bcover.jpg

gravity tractor VS asteroid B612 (m coleman), Wednesday, 16 March 2011 12:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

That "Baltimore" cut by Nina Simone is almost Grace Jones-like. Awesome. Thanks, Tuomas.

Partyin', partyin', fun fun fun fun (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 16 March 2011 13:58 (eight years ago) Permalink

Lalo did 9/11

for real molars who ain't got no fillings (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 16 March 2011 14:04 (eight years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

I'm just enjoying the 1st disc of the expanded 2cd California Concert at the Hollywood Palladium. It is a bit smooth an un-noisy for the time but it is also pretty deeply groove-y. So I might get well into it or at least bits of it.
Currently on Red Clay.

Was looking at Hubert Laws Morning Star in the same shop. Seems like they pick up several remainder records/cds from places. Always seem to have odd semi-obscurities in.

Stevolende, Friday, 7 September 2012 18:13 (six years ago) Permalink

a lot of otherwise good CTI tracks go on a few minutes too long imo

look at this quarterstaff (Hurting 2), Friday, 7 September 2012 18:34 (six years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

disc 1 of this "cool revolution" box is a damn good selection. jazz sounding alive and well and dope as hell.

brimstead, Monday, 30 September 2013 21:15 (five years ago) Permalink

i made a CTI spotify playlist a while back -- not exhaustive, just stuff I like.

http://open.spotify.com/user/129292964/playlist/7EGFs8aaFrJKTN6rr5rEGx

#fomo that's the motto (Hurting 2), Monday, 30 September 2013 21:19 (five years ago) Permalink

George Benson killed so hard when he played on Freddie Hubbard CTI records

#fomo that's the motto (Hurting 2), Monday, 30 September 2013 21:24 (five years ago) Permalink

otm - that Sky Dive LP (which I think is on CTI) is a fave, tons of great stuff on there.

tylerw, Monday, 30 September 2013 21:32 (five years ago) Permalink

I love his solo on Mr. Clean, which is on Straight Life

#fomo that's the motto (Hurting 2), Monday, 30 September 2013 21:33 (five years ago) Permalink

and his playing on stanley turrentine's "sugar", yeesh!
really want to hear this record: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/8c/Beyond_the_Blue_Horizon.jpg

brimstead, Monday, 30 September 2013 21:36 (five years ago) Permalink

I'm not a big fan of the way CTI handled "straight-ahead" jazz tunes. I think the rock/funk feel stuff works much better than swing feel stuff with their sound.

#fomo that's the motto (Hurting 2), Monday, 30 September 2013 21:38 (five years ago) Permalink

i was actually a bit surprised by the first disc of this.. there's very little rock/funk influence, apart from electronic pianos. it sounds so brisk and un-slick, though.. you hear a lot of grain.

brimstead, Monday, 30 September 2013 21:43 (five years ago) Permalink

I'm not an audio engineer and I don't know a lot about audio, but I always feel like CTI records have a relatively narrow "frequency range" or something -- everything sounds compressed into this small space. Which works really well for me when it's mellow but tight funk, and less well for me when it's swung modern jazz. I also find some of the Benson solo stuff borderline corny (his arrangements of Take Five and So What for example), but some of it is great.

#fomo that's the motto (Hurting 2), Monday, 30 September 2013 21:48 (five years ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp2LVN-1CxA

THIZZ VAN LEER @_@ (lpz), Tuesday, 1 October 2013 03:55 (five years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

This is the most recently updated thread I see. Recent spins of CTI stuff that sounded good are Jobim's Stone Flower, Joe Farrell's Moon Germs & Outback, George Benson's White Rabbit. I couldn't believe after so many years of seeing it but never listening to it that Hubert Laws' 'Crying Song' was the Pink Floyd tune. Not a lot to say but that there's still good listening to be found there....

Scam jam, thank you ma’am (Sparkle Motion), Wednesday, 21 February 2018 03:34 (one year ago) Permalink

for me the ultimate CTI record is milt jackson's "sunflower". so gorgeous. i find myself reaching for it so often. i have an incredibly crackly copy - sound is so rich and beautiful.

honorable mention for hubbard's "red clay" and "straight life".

coleman's list upthread is a pretty great primer.

there are a number of good one and two disc CD compilations out there, but i am partial to this one

https://www.amazon.com/Cti-Master-Collection-Various-Artists/dp/B0000630CC

the late great, Thursday, 22 February 2018 18:31 (one year ago) Permalink

"i have an incredibly crackly copy - sound is so rich and beautiful."

!!!!

get a better copy!

scott seward, Thursday, 22 February 2018 18:47 (one year ago) Permalink

i mean one of the best things about CTI is you can get the majority of their catalog near mint for 10 bucks and under.

scott seward, Thursday, 22 February 2018 18:48 (one year ago) Permalink

just spun sunflower recently — yeah, such a lush, immersive vibe

tylerw, Thursday, 22 February 2018 18:49 (one year ago) Permalink

i like the crackle

the late great, Thursday, 22 February 2018 18:52 (one year ago) Permalink

i don't *always* like surface noise but it goes nicely with 70s fusion records ... "dusty grooves"

the late great, Thursday, 22 February 2018 18:53 (one year ago) Permalink

whoever recommended 'Sugar' had it right- one of the better Turrentine efforts I've heard.

Scam jam, thank you ma’am (Sparkle Motion), Friday, 23 February 2018 08:14 (one year ago) Permalink

I have that 4CD box mentioned way upthread - here's the Amazon link; totally worth it.

I also have a budget 5 pack of Joe Farrell's albums for them (had to buy Moon Germs separately). There's a great 2CD-equivalent compilation of Turrentine's work for them, but as far as I know there's no physical version, just this: The Essential Stanley Turrentine.

grawlix (unperson), Friday, 23 February 2018 12:36 (one year ago) Permalink

Oh, and I bought a 2-for-1 UK CD that has Hank Crawford's Wildflower and Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing, both of which are great.

And here's a Spotify playlist I made of all Grover Washington, Jr.'s albums on CTI sister label Kudu:

Grover Washington, Jr. on Kudu (1972-1977)

grawlix (unperson), Friday, 23 February 2018 12:40 (one year ago) Permalink

The Upchurch/Tennyson Kudu album seems to be really overlooked. Produced by Taylor but has a foggy mid-morning atmosphere like nothing else on Kudu or CTI, parts of Esther Phillips' Performance excepted. Out-there Bob James ARP on a version of "(I Am The) Black Gold (Of the Sun)," which isn't even on YouTube.

Andy K, Friday, 23 February 2018 14:55 (one year ago) Permalink

Out-there Bob James ARP on a version of "(I Am The) Black Gold (Of the Sun),"

:-O

the late great, Friday, 23 February 2018 19:32 (one year ago) Permalink

It's at 41:23 here.

https://www.mixcloud.com/ballardarcade/ballard-arcade-005/

Andy K, Friday, 23 February 2018 20:07 (one year ago) Permalink

i got a small haul of kudu vinyl yesterday for like $20 ... all four grover albums in unperson's link + a hank crawford

the late great, Friday, 23 February 2018 20:09 (one year ago) Permalink

i really like the self-titled Joe Farrell Quartet album

brimstead, Friday, 23 February 2018 20:13 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

I knew about Red Clay for years, but didn’t know about CTI as a label with a house sound until recently, when I bought an LP of Freddie Hubbard Sky Dive based on the cheap price and personnel on the front. It kind of blew me away.

I’ve since bought Rite of Spring, First Light, and White Rabbit and like them all. I understand about complaints of smoothness, etc., but they’re fun, jammy jazz that isn’t $20+ per record.

Mazzy Tsar (PBKR), Wednesday, 10 April 2019 17:20 (two months ago) Permalink

oh hell yeah! there are lots of good (and plenty of dud) CTI records. Basically up til they go disco they're mostly pretty good, and if someone ever released alternate takes sans the Sebesky string arrangements you could have an argument for some truly great sessions by the biggest players in the bop game at the time.

pippin drives a lambo through the gates of isengard (Sparkle Motion), Wednesday, 10 April 2019 18:45 (two months ago) Permalink

A bunch of CTI albums have been reissued as 2CD sets by the Beat Goes On label in the UK. I have two sets (six albums total) by Stanley Turrentine, one by Freddie Hubbard (Red Clay, Straight Life, and First Light) and one by Milt Jackson (Sunflower and Goodbye). They've also bundled several Hubert Laws albums, and some by Jim Hall and other folks, but I don't have any of those.

grawlix (unperson), Wednesday, 10 April 2019 21:40 (two months ago) Permalink

Sunflower is one of the ones where the string arrangements really complete the album. Great record with ace playing by Hubbard in particular. I've never heard Goodbye.

pippin drives a lambo through the gates of isengard (Sparkle Motion), Wednesday, 10 April 2019 22:06 (two months ago) Permalink


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