This Naxos disc by the five-member Versus Ensemble contains a potpourri of seven different works by Argentinean composer Astor Piazzolla. It includes many of his best known major works – the Milonga del ángel, Verano Porteño, Libertango, and Oblivion – plus five excerpts from his least known major work: his operetta Maria de Buenos Aires. Of the 11 tracks here, four feature either vocalist Enrique Moratalla or soprano María Rey-Joly, one features reciter Horacio Ferrer, and six are instrumentals.
This latest album from the Katona Twins fully sustains the standards set by their previous three releases for Channel Classic. … Highly recommended.
Too some, Al di Meola is best known for is shredding guitar work as part of Return to Forever, and also his early solo albums. But di Meola has always had an interest in flamenco styled acoustic playing ("Mediterranean Sundance" off of Elegant Gypsy, anyone?) — which is the six-string style that he fully embraces on his 2007 release, Diabolic Inventions and Seduction for Solo Guitar, Vol. 1: Music of Astor Piazzolla…
Features 24 bit digital remastering. Comes with a description. Originally released on Atlantic in 1957, the short-lived bop quintet les Jazz Modes performed excerpts from Frank Loesser's third Broadway musical The Most Happy Fella. This tasteful date features Julius Watkins on French horn (and pre-Thelonious Monk) and tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, accompanied by pianist Gildo Mahones, bassist, Martin Rivera, drummer Ron Jefferson, and, for this date only, vocalist Eileen Gilbert was added on "My Heart Is So Full of You."
Features 24 bit digital remastering. Comes with a description. A firey stormer from the great Slide Hampton! The album's one of his few early sides for Atlantic – and like the others, it's a groundbreaking batch of larger group material, with slide out front on trombone, and the rest of the ensemble vamping along like a tight Blue Note combo. Players are excellent – and include George Coleman on tenor, Horace Parlan on piano, Hobart Dotson on trumpet, and Ray Barretto on drums – and Slide makes them come together so tightly, you'd think they were working together every night of the week! Titles include "The Barbarians", "Strollin", "The Jazz Twist", "Red Top", "Slide Slid", and "Day In Day Out".
A great album recorded in 1963 for Atlantic – one of our favorite ever! Jack Wilson's one of our favorite piano players, and we rave about him all the time on these pages – and one of the reasons why we love him so much is that he was often accompanied by Roy Ayers, who started out his career playing vibes in his group! The pair together are a dream, and this album is arguably their best effort – filled with moody modal cuts, and lots of lyrical interplay that hits these beautiful high points, then dives into pits of darkness. Titles include "Harbor Freeway", "De Critifeux", "Corcovado", "Jackleg", and "Nirvana & Dana".