This CD brings back one of the high points of singer Bill Henderson's career. Because he settled in Los Angeles, Henderson never became a major name but he was actually one of the top male jazz singers to emerge in the late '50s. Backed quite sympathetically by the swinging Oscar Peterson Trio (which consisted of pianist Peterson, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Ed Thigpen), Henderson is in prime form on such songs as "All or Nothing at All," "Gravy Waltz," "I've Got a Crush on You," and "The Folks Who Live on the Hill"; four previously unissued songs round out the fairly definitive collection.
THE COMPLETE BILL EVANS ON VERVE is an 18-disc, 269-track box set featuring every track that Bill Evans recorded for Verve between 1962 and 1969, including 98 previously-unreleased tracks. It includes a 160-page, full-color book. THE COMPLETE BILL EVANS ON VERVE was nominated for a 1998 Grammy Award for Best Recording Package - Boxed and for Best Historical Album. The 18 CDs in this exhaustive set provide a comprehensive picture of Bill Evans from 1962 to 1969, a period when the pianist was both consolidating his fame and sometimes taking his music into untested waters, from unaccompanied piano to symphony orchestra. His work with multitracked solo piano, originally released as Conversations with Myself and the later Further Conversations with Myself, was the most remarkable new format for his introspective music. It gave Evans a way to be all the pianists he could be at once–combining densely chordal, harmonically oblique parts with surprising, rhythmic punctuation and darting, exploratory runs.
After many years in the music business, saxophonist-bandleader-composer John Lurie has created a musical identity all his own. Best known for his mercurial work with the Lounge Lizards, Lurie has found a pleasant niche recording soundtracks for films like Get Shorty and Stranger Than Paradise. Accompanied by a number of talented musicians, including Marc Ribot, John Medeski, Calvin Weston, and other assorted Lounge Lizards, Lurie displays an impressive ability to create lively and evocative film music. While Lurie only performs on half of these compositions, his sonic vision is both distinctive and eclectic. Bouncing stylistically from downtown funk and progressive soul to chamber jazz, rock, and tribal percussion workouts, Lurie's mood-inducing orchestrations are witty, passionate, and consistently engaging.
Even with such strong players as trumpeters Bobby Stark and Rex Stewart, trombonist Benny Morton and tenor-saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, the fortunes of Fletcher Henderson's orchestra were slipping during 1931. With the departure of Don Redman several years earlier, the group's arrangements were less innovative, and the pressure was on to perform commercial songs for the Depression audience. Even the jazz standards (such as "Tiger Rag" and "After You've Gone") are less interesting than those of their competitors, although this new version of "Sugar Foot Stomp" is a classic and the strong solos by the all-star cast make this CD well worth acquiring.
On June 25th, 1961, Bill Evans and his trio made jazz history over the course of five sets at the Village Vanguard. Selections from those performances were released on two full-length LPs, WALTZ FOR DEBBY and Sunday AT THE VILLAGE VANGUARD, both of which went on to become landmark jazz albums from the era. The three-disc COMPLETE VILLAGE VANGUARD RECORDINGS provides a valuable service by presenting all five sets in their complete and original sequence, with crisp remastered sound, a previously unissued take (Scott LaFaro's "Gloria's Step"), and snippets of on-stage patter.
Esoteric Recordings announce a new release on their recently launched Cocteau Discs imprint, a limited edition reissue of BILL NELSON’s classic 4 disc ambient boxed set "TRIAL BY INTIMACY (The Book of Splendours)”. The set was originally released on Bill’s Cocteau Records label in October 1984 and comprised recordings made by Bill at his Echo Observatory home studio. Comprising some eighty pieces of music, the set was a fine example of Bill Nelson’s grasp of Ambient music and has subsequently been hailed as a ground-breaking work. Long deleted, the set is made available once more with this newly re-mastered Cocteau Discs edition. The new release fully restores the original elements of the "TRIAL BY INTIMACY” box and is an exact facsimile, reproducing a 32 page book and eight art postcards that featured in the original set.
Well into his 30th year of recording, Eric Andersen picks up where his 1989 masterpiece Ghosts upon the Road left off. His 15th album was eight years in the making, pieced together from collaborations with Rick Danko, Richard Thompson, Benmont Tench, Howie Epstein, and Bob Dylan bassist Tony Garnier. It demonstrates the virtues of patient songwriting in sensual love lyrics, sprawling wanderer's laments, and Beat-poetry-inspired litanies of sins and ecstasies. "He thought of his mother / He thought of the automat / The space shuttle / Jersey cows and poison lollipops / As the dry heaves rose in his chest," he intones over a smoky, funky groove. Of all the folksingers to find their way out of the '60s, only Dylan and Joni Mitchell have remained as restless and provocative as Andersen. His imagination has grown ever more sure, his voice has become an unearthly, stately whisper, and his songs are still shapes by a singular, exceptional artistic will.