Australian band SNAKES ALIVE was a short-lived band project consisting of Michael Vidale (bass), Peter Nykyruj (drums), Alex Ditrich (keyboards), Boris Peric (guitars), Jonas Thomas (sax, flute, vocals) and Colin Campbell (trumpet). Their sole album was recorded and privately released in a limited number of copies back in 1974…
Otis Rush's crunching guitar and vocals were never more emphatic than during the '70s when it seemed that he would actually find the pop attention and mass stardom he deserved. These mid-'70s tracks were originally cut for the Black and Blue label, with Rush playing grinding, relentless riffs and creating waves of sonic brilliance through creatively repeated motifs, jagged notes, and sustained lines and licks, while hollering, screaming, moaning, and wailing. Jimmy Dawkins, an outstanding lead artist in his own right, has also long been one of Chicago's great rhythm artists and shows it by adding plenty of tinkling, crackling figures and lines in the backgrounds. While not as consistently riveting as his live Evidence date, this one is also a valuable Rush document.
This is one of Ella Fitzgerald's most enjoyable recordings from her later years. With pianist Tommy Flanagan, guitarist Joe Pass, bassist Keter Betts, and drummer Bobby Durham serving as a backup group (not a bad band), she swings everything from "Sweet Georgia Brown" and "It Don't Mean a Thing" to "Lemon Drop" and even Carole King's "You've Got a Friend." Her ballad interpretations are only topped by her scatting talents. This set serves as a perfect introduction to the mature Ella Fitzgerald.
Recorded in 1973 as a foray away from the Modern Jazz Quartet, Milt Jackson's second entry on the CTI label is also one of its highlights. This is one of Creed Taylor's finest productions both in terms of material and sidemen. Drummer Steve Gadd, flutist Hubert Laws, bassist Ron Carter, and pianist Cedar Walton accompany Jackson on the majority of the album. Indeed, Jackson's ability to swing funky is evidenced to delightful extremes on "Old Devil Moon," with a rolling cymbal shakeout from Gadd, whose rim shots and tempo-pushing musculature are a sharp contrast to those of the MJQ's Connie Kay. Likewise, Laws, whose playing is usually over the top, stays inside melodic nuances here and provides Jackson with an essential harmonic foil. And Ron Carter is playing throughout with a popping edge he never had before or since.
Egg were exponents of the so-called "Canterbury" style of Folk/Rock music and were focused around the compositional and keyboard playing skills of Dave Stewart (later in Hatfield & The North) and Mont Campbell and Clive Brooks. In 1974, they recorded their final album for the Virgin Record label. Featuring guest musicians such as Steve Hillage (Gong) and members of Henry Cow, The Civil Surface is now regarded as a classic of the "Canterbury" and "Progressive" genres. This Esoteric Recordings release has been remastered from the original tapes and is certain to the many who made the reissues of Egg’s previous work such a success.