Some of Grant Green's hottest moments as a jazz-funk bandleader came on his live records of the era, which were filled with extended, smoking grooves and gritty ensemble interplay. Live at the Lighthouse makes a fine companion piece to the excellent Alive!, though there are some subtle differences which give the album its own distinct flavor. For starters, the average track length is even greater, with four of the six jams clocking in at over 12 minutes. That makes it easy to get lost in the grooves as the musicians ride and work them over.
In 1999, Mobile Fidelity reissued Blue Oyster Cult's first two albums, Blue Oyster Cult (1972) and Tyranny and Mutation (1973) on a single 24-karat gold CD that was aimed at audiophiles. Hearing the albums back to back on the same disc, one is reminded how much crisper, tougher and sharper Murry Krugman and Sandy Pearlman's production was on Tyranny and Mutation – it's a production that's more suitable for a heavy metal/hard rock band…
This is a keeper from the word "go." Recorded live in 1995 (but not released until 1998) at Yoshi's in Oakland, CA, Robben Ford is joined by long-time Blue Line trio members Roscoe Beck on bass and Tom Brechtlein on drums, as well as Bill Boublitz on a baby grand piano. Although nearly all of the songs can be found on other Ford albums (most are from Handful of Blues), one of the things that makes this jazzy recording so special is that Ford is playing only an acoustic guitar. The Ray Charles gem "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying" (which you WON'T find elsewhere) is simply beautiful, and on Paul Butterfield's "Lovin' Cup," it's just Ford and his guitar. The brilliance of his playing and the reason behind why so many guitar players put him at the top of their list can be found in Ford's performance on this release, alternating between lead and rhythm. The Authorized Bootleg also has great (albeit laid-back) versions of "When I Leave Here" and "Tired of Talkin'." Highly, highly recommended.
Stardust is another satisfying record from Ron Carter, this one in part a tribute to the late Oscar Pettiford. Leading a quintet with Benny Golson on tenor, Joe Locke on vibes, Sir Roland Hanna on piano, and Lenny White on drums, Carter picks three choice tunes by Pettiford – the swing-to-tango "Tamalpais," the minor-key bop classic "Bohemia After Dark," and the masterfully simple "Blues in the Closet."
Mose Allison, who was a musical institution long before 1987, had not run out of creative juices after 30 years of major league performances. This set finds him introducing such ironically truthful songs as "Ever Since The World Ended," "Top Forty," "I Looked In The Mirror" and "What's Your Movie." The many guest artists (including altoist Arthur Blythe, tenor-saxophonist Bennie Wallace, Bob Malach on both alto and tenor and guitarist Kenny Burrell) are unnecessary frivolities but Allison's trio (with bassist Dennis Irwin and drummer Tom Whaley) is tight and ably backs the unique singer-pianist.