Issued in 1970 as his second album for Creed Taylor's CTI label, Hubert Laws' Afro-Classic is a classic for the manner in which Laws, with brilliant assistance from arranger Don Sebesky, melded the jazz and classical worlds – not to mention pop – into a seamless whole. Laws was the first artist signed to Taylor's imprint. His debut for the label, Crying Song, won critical notice, but it was Afro-Classic that established a new role for the flute in contemporary jazz. Herbie Mann may have been the first, but Laws explored jazz and all the sound worlds that informed it – especially in the electric domain – with the kind of grace and innovative vision that made him a mainstay.
Despite his very erratic lifestyle, altoist Art Pepper never made a bad record. This collection is better than most. The first four titles team together Pepper with tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh, pianist Ronnie Ball, bassist Ben Tucker, and drummer Gary Frommer for generally intriguing explorations of four standards. One can feel the influence of Lennie Tristano (with Pepper in Lee Konitz's place), although Pepper had his own sound and a more hard-swinging style.
Nearly 12 hours of exceptional performances, interviews and educational content are featured on this 4-disc DVD set.
Modern Drummer Festival 2008 includes amazing performances and illuminating interviews from eleven of today's greatest drum artists, and also serves as an incredible educational resource with in-depth insights and exclusive instruction (including a printable, 28-page eBook) from one of the most musically diverse groups of drummers in the Festival's 20-year history.