Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. Harold Ashby's a tremendous tenorist – almost like Von Freeman or Buck Hill, in that he had years of experience before getting a bit of wider experience on records – thanks to albums like this! The set's got Ashby's great raspy tone in perfect formation with a trio led by pianist Horace Parlan – himself experiencing a big new wave of exposure at the time, on some of his other Timeless sessions, which marked a move to spacious, more tradition-filled playing – which makes him a great partner for Ashby on this set!
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. Janice Lakers is a singer we only know from this one album – but she's a hip vocalist with a very compelling style – one that's very much in the best mode of some of the cooler American jazz singers of the late 70s! The song choices are great – some hipper jazz standards – and she's got a way of opening up with the lyrics that's far different than older vocal modes of the 50s – instead nearer to the territory of artists like Janet Lawson or Judy Roberts. Backing is by a hip trio with Debbie Poryes on piano – who really open up with their own sense of presence on the record, too – and titles include "Waltz For Debby", "Like A Lover", "Falling Grace", "Rainbow Lady", "In Your Own Sweet Way", and a nicely grooving take on "Moondance".
This Live at the Circle Room date has been issued before, but the bonus material of the same band from a later date makes this an extra special set. For starters, the Circle Room, in the Hotel La Salle in Milwaukee, was the town's premier jazz spot in 1946. The first 17 tracks on this CD come from four performances between September 21 and 25 of that year. Cole, with Oscar Moore and Johnny Miller, had begin his singing career in earnest, and playing in front of a lounge crowd seemed like the most natural thing in the world for him. Indeed, as bottles click, and the periodic murmur of voices in the foreground appear in the mix, the listener will be transported into Cole's magical space. From Ellington's "C Jam Blues," to "I'm in the Mood for Love," "I'm Thru With Love," and "Sweet Georgia Brown," the Cole trio kicks it with grace and elegance.