Reissue with SHM-CD format and new 24bit remastering. Johnny Smith really helped bring the sound of jazz guitar to a huge audience in the 50s – and an album like this is a perfect demonstration of his subtle genius on the instrument! At a time when so many others were working the guitar with a hard-edged sound, Smith moves into territory that's even more careful and precise – really making the most of the amplification on the strings, so that his touch can be gentle, but very pointed – allowing for lots of space between the notes, in a way that makes each of them mean even more than they might if strung together in a flurry. The group's a trio – with the bass and drums really giving Johnny a lot of room.
Criminally overlooked by academics, critics and purists who refuse to listening to anything outside of conventional jazz vernacular, Andy Bey's delivery on Experience and Judgment goes beyond anything he previously committed to tape, revealing a spiritual side that's punched up and supported by a jazz-funk ensemble. The album's opener "Celestial Blues" finds Bey delivering lines that wouldn't be out of place on Bill Withers records from this era, and the remainder of the album sounds similar to the works of such contemporaries as Roy Ayers and Gil Scott-Heron. It's soul soothing music that's been played with great reverence by the rare soul and funk community for years and rightly so, as Bey captures the essence of the soul world brilliantly, and fuses it into something that is uniquely his own.
The cover art of COMPACT JAZZ * BEST OF DIXIELAND is potentially misleading. Pictured are 78s and cylinders made in the pre-microphone acoustic recording era. Although some of the artists here, such as Louis Armstrong and Kid Ory, were in the studios in those pioneer days, none of their early work is to be found on this set. Rather, we have a collection of full range hi-fi or stereo tracks made for VERVE records in the years spanning 1955 to '61 (the exceptions being one side from 1964 and another made a decade later). A few of the classic New Orleans "locale" tunes appear ("Basin St. Blues," "Perdido St. Blues," "Canal St. Blues"), as well as perennial favorites ("Ballin' The Jack," "St. Louis Blues," "Hindustan"). For an opportunity to listen to the music being performed all around the Crescent City a half-century ago, VERVE's BEST OF DIXIELAND cannot be beat.
This double LP was the first jazz concert ever recorded at the Hollywood Bowl (and only the second one held at that L.A. institution). Although not an official Jazz at the Philharmonic concert, it has the same basic format and was also produced by Norman Granz. Trumpeters Roy Eldridge and Harry "Sweets" Edison, tenors Flip Phillips and Illinois Jacquet, the Oscar Peterson Trio and drummer Buddy Rich all jam on "Honeysuckle Rose" and "Jumpin' at the Woodside" and there is also a ballad medley and a drum solo by Rich. In addition the Oscar Peterson Trio plays two numbers, the remarkable pianist Art Tatum (in one of his final appearances) has four, Ella Fitzgerald sings six songs (including a scat-filled "Airmail Special") and collaborates with Louis Armstrong on two others. For the grand finale nearly everyone returns to the stage for "When the Saints Go Marching In" which Armstrong sings and largely narrates, cheerfully introducing all of the participants. This is a historic and very enjoyable release featuring more than its share of classic greats.
The Mastercuts label's great Classic Jazz-Funk series kicked off in 1991, and like the remainder of volumes released in its wake throughout the '90s, the first volume more or less concentrates on the '70s end of jazz-funk, as opposed to the form's beginnings during the '60s. Jazz artists were incorporating more potent and often easily danceable backbeats and were also allowing for the R&B of the time to infiltrate their sound, causing purists to shriek in horror at the break from tradition and – just as importantly – the crossover appeal.
Five By Design’s signature harmonies have withstood the test of time in a career that stands out on America’s musical landscape, spanning more than twenty years. This nationally-acclaimed vocal ensemble has been the choice of symphony orchestras and performing art centers delighting hundreds of thousands.
The names of Johann Sebastian Bach, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Sergei Rachmaninoff do not necessarily conjure images and sounds of jazz in one's mind, that is until one has listened to recordings by the Classical Jazz Quartet. Although these musicians utilize the same instruments as the Modern Jazz Quartet, they are in no way clones or copycats of that groundbreaking group. They have very much their own sound and style. This is not surprising given the huge talent of the musicians involved; all four are virtuosos on their respective instruments. The themes, although composed in a different time and place, become excellent vehicles for complex, sometimes, bluesy, often swinging and always fresh improvisations in the hands of these musicians. And although one might think of any recording billed as "classical meets jazz" as background music, this music definitely is not. The double CD consists of the group's three previously released recordings, plus one bonus track featuring their interpretation of Handel's Hallelujah.
The jazz tones here are mighty nice — on a record that sparkles with some of Buddy DeFranco's best music ever ! As with other Verve dates from the time, this DeFranco outing's got a rhythmic pulse that really gets things going — a sense of swing that's nice and lean, but quite powerful too — pushing Buddy past any cliched clarinet modes of the 50s, into a realm that really unlocks new sax-like sounds in his horn! The piano has a lot to do with the record – played here by either Kenny Drew or Sonny Clark — with bass from Milt Hinton or Gene Wright, and drums from Art Blakey and Bobby White.
On esko we go on a musical journey across Europe to the extraordinary land of Bohemia (popularly known as esko, but officially means Czech), the homeland of two composers we have come to love so much. It doesn't seem to matter that we hardly know their country: the indescribable energy of the music, with its folk melodies and harmonies, revealing the essence of a nation steeped in a deep cultural history, takes us there instantly.