For the fourth of five recordings made by the classic Ruby Braff-George Barnes Quartet, ten songs by Rodgers and Hart are given melodic, swinging, creative treatment. Cornetist Braff and guitarist Barnes fed off of each other and worked very well together, while rhythm guitarist Wayne Wright and bassist Michael Moore always gave them impeccable support. Highlights of this enjoyable set include "Isn't It Romantic," "Blue Room," "You Took Advantage of Me" and "The Lady Is a Tramp".
From 1964, Archie Shepp's first date as a leader featured – as one would expect from the title – four tunes by John Coltrane, his mentor, his major influence, and his bandleader. The fact that this album holds up better than almost any of Shepp's records nearly 40 years after the fact has plenty to do with the band he chose for this session, and everything to do with the arranging skills of trombonist Roswell Rudd. The band here is Shepp on tenor, John Tchicai on alto, Rudd on trombone, Trane's bassist Reggie Workman, and Ornette Coleman's drummer Charles Moffett. Even in 1964, this was a powerhouse, beginning with a bluesed-out wailing version of "Syeeda's Song Flute." This version is ingenious, with Shepp allowing Rudd to arrange for solos for himself and Tchicai up front and Rudd punching in the blues and gospel in the middle, before giving way to double time by Workman and Moffett. The rawness of the whole thing is so down-home you're ready to tell someone to pass the butter beans when listening.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. Phil Woods toured Japan in 1975 with the Japanese Rhythm Machine (pianist Hideo Ichikawa, bassist Mitsuaki Furuno, and drummer George Otsuka), recording this album at during a concert at Kosei Nenkin Kaikan in Tokyo. The alto saxophonist is at the top of his game, while the rhythm section provides excellent support, with Ichikawa especially shining in the solo spotlight.