This 15-track set puts together some amazing performances by Billy Eckstine's band from the early '40s when he was leading one of the more intense, smoking bands on the scene. Some of his players during these years included Fats Navarro, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, and Kenny Dorham, just to name a few. The Eckstine band was sophisticated, jumping, and they swung like mad no matter the tune. Here, of course, the emphasis is on Eckstine's vocals, his smooth as silk baritone that could sing a ballad like Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady," or a deep swinging blues by Doc Pomus ("She Got the Blues for Sale"). There's scat, solid jazz balladry, and jumping, tough-hitting blues here. Highly recommended.
Of the Tonight Show Band's three Amherst CDs, this is the most highly recommended one. The repertoire is fresher than the songs featured on the two earlier releases and, in addition to the usual swing-era standards, such tunes as Tommy Newsom's "Three Shades of Blue" and Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely" are included. Guest appearances by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis ("Avalon") and singer Tony Bennett ("I Can't Get Started") add some variety, the arrangements (mostly by the innovative Bill Holman and Tommy Newsom) are generally colorful, and the band (featuring such soloists as trumpeters Doc Severinsen, Snooky Young, and Conte Candoli; tenor saxophonist Pete Christlieb; and pianist Ross Tompkins) sounds in prime form.
Any Love is the sixth studio album by American soul singer Luther Vandross. It was released on September 20, 1988. It reached the top position on the R&B Album charts that year for two weeks. At the 1989 Grammy Awards, the album was nominated for "Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male" and its title track was nominated for "Best R&B Song". Also, "She Won't Talk to Me" received a nomination for "Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male" in 1990. The album was certified platinum. The album also features a cover of Major Harris' hit single "Love Won't Let Me Wait".
Only fans who follow UB40 closely will be aware that, as of 2013, there have been two different bands performing under the name UB40. The UB40 who perform with no caveats attached to their appellation are fronted by Duncan Campbell, the brother of Ali Campbell, who led the band through its peaks in the '80s and '90s. Ali acrimoniously left the group in 2008, soon followed by fellow vocalist Astro and keyboardist Mickey Virtue, leaving the remaining UB40 to be something of an upscale Reggae Sunsplash act, churning out reggae-fied covers of old pop and rock standards. All three former members reunited in 2014 for an album called Silhouette – confusingly billed to Ali Campbell the Legendary Voice of UB40 Reunited with Astro & Mickey – which helped establish these refugees as a distinct entity from the UB40 that kept performing under the household name, but the 2018 album A Real Labour of Love is where the trio make a stab for the crown they vacated.