Features SHM-CD format and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. Alligator Bogaloo is one example of Lou Donaldson's successful combinations of hard bop and soul-jazz. Of the six tunes, three are Donaldson originals, including the title hit. The excellent band, consisting of Melvin Lastin, Sr. on cornet, George Benson on guitar, Lonnie Smith on organ, and Leo Morris on drums, mixes laid-back vamps beneath driving hard bop charts. As the '60s turned into the '70s, Donaldson began shaving off hard bop invention for a more radio-friendly and 45 rpm length, leaving soulful – yet monotonous – vamping. At that point, Donaldson's material suffered from a lack of originality. That's not the case on Alligator Bogaloo.
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and 24 bit remastering. Featuring the work of obscure composer/pianist Todd Cochrane, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson's 1971 album Head On is a highly cerebral and atmospheric affair that is somewhat different than his other equally experimental '70s work. Although the album does feature more of the avant-garde jazz that Hutcherson was exploring during this period, Cochrane's material is heavily influenced by contemporary classical music, and accordingly Head On is more of an exercise in reflective, layered jazz than rambunctious freebop – though it does offer some of that, too.
Reissue. Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (fully compatible with standard CD player) and the latest remastering (24bit 192kHz). Bobby Hutcherson's second quartet session, Oblique, shares both pianist Herbie Hancock and drummer Joe Chambers with his first, Happenings (bassist Albert Stinson is a newcomer). However, the approach is somewhat different this time around. For starters, there's less emphasis on Hutcherson originals; he contributes only three of the six pieces, with one from Hancock and two from the typically free-thinking Chambers. And compared to the relatively simple compositions and reflective soloing on Happenings, Oblique is often more complex in its post-bop style and more emotionally direct (despite what the title may suggest).
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (fully compatible with standard CD player) and the latest remastering (24bit 192kHz). Carried by its almost impossibly infectious eponymous opening track, The Sidewinder helped foreshadow the sounds of boogaloo and soul-jazz with its healthy R&B influence and Latin tinge. While the rest of the album retreats to a more conventional hard bop sound, Morgan's compositions are forward-thinking and universally solid. Only 25 at the time of its release, Morgan was accomplished (and perhaps cocky) enough to speak of mentoring the great Joe Henderson, who at 26 was just beginning to play dates with Blue Note after getting out of the military.
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (fully compatible with standard CD player) and the latest remastering (24bit 192kHz). This long-lost Lee Morgan session was not released for the first time until it was discovered in the Blue Note vaults by Michael Cuscuna in 1984; it has still not been reissued on CD. Originals by Cal Massey, Duke Pearson ("Is That So") and Walter Davis, in addition to a couple of surprising pop tunes ("What Not My Love" and "Once in My Lifetime") and Morgan's title cut, are well-played by the quintet (which includes the trumpeter/leader, Hank Mobley on tenor, pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Billy Higgins).
Reissue. Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. On Song for My Daughter, his third record for Blue Note, Jack Wilson "changed with the times," to paraphrase one of the record's songs. Like many of his peers on the label, Wilson pursued a pop direction as the '60s drew to a close, which meant he covered pop hits like "Scarborough Fair/Canticle" and "Stormy," and that he recorded the album with a large band augmented by a string section. It is a testament to Wilson's strengths as a pianist that he doesn't get lost in this heavy-handed setting and manages to contribute some typically graceful moments, including the lovely title song.
Lee Morgan's final studio recording before he was murdered was initially released as a two-fer LP, and the original recordings without alternate takes are included here on one CD. This was a fertile creative time for Morgan, as rivals Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw were embracing the electrified sounds of the times and Morgan followed suit. Harold Mabern is on the Fender Rhodes piano, tenor saxophonist Billy Harper proves a formidable front-line mate, and the vibrant Bobbi Humphrey is heard on flute before she commercialized her sound.
Royal Blue is the first Alligator release from Koko Taylor since 1993's Grammy nominated Force of Nature. This is a mainly up-tempo set with excellent support from several guest appearances by B.B. King, Johnny Johnson, Ken Saydak, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd who contributes some scorching guitar on the Melissa Ethridge-penned hit "Bring Me Some Water." Taylor not only co-produced this release but wrote four of the 12 tracks, including the acoustic "The Man Next Door." On this track, the combination of Koko's passionate voice with Keb Mo's gritty Delta slide guitar makes you wish she would move further in this direction on future releases. Royal Blue proves Koko Taylor is still the undisputed queen of the blues.
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. A stunning early set as a leader from Elvin Jones – both a tremendous demonstration of the free energy he let loose after the passing of John Coltrane, and a set that's also still got some key Coltrane-esque elements! As with other Jones albums to follow, Elvin's got some key reedmen on hand – George Coleman on tenor, and Frank Foster on tenor, alto, and bass clarinet – both given plenty of room to run around with long solos on the open space of the record – yet without ever blowing off their heads as much as some of the younger players who'd work with Jones. There's no piano at all on the set – just the rock-slid bass of Wilbur Little, and additional congas from Candido next to Elvin's drums. The tracks have a haunting quality that mixes modal grooving with spare moments, and titles include "Simone", "5/4 Thing", "Shinjitu", and a nice version of "Yesterdays".
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. Duke Pearson returned to a big band setting for Now Hear This!, once again proving his agility and inventiveness as an arranger and leader. Working with a larger band than before – the total number of musicians weighs in at 17 – Pearson nevertheless keeps things clean and uncluttered. His compositions, as well as the songs he covers, cover a broad range of emotions, styles, and tonal colors, with lush ballads taking the center stage. Even if much of this music is beautiful, Pearson's arrangements take chances and are unconventional, which means it rewards close listening as well.