Pablo Cruise achieved some measure of success during the latter part of the '70s with their mellow, easygoing California pop. The band was formed in 1973 by former members of Stoneground and It's a Beautiful Day: guitarist Dave Jenkins, keyboardist Cory Lerios, bassist Bud Cockrell, and drummer Steve Price…
The seven-CD set Live Trane expands upon Pablo's earlier CDs of John Coltrane recorded during his European tours between 1961 and 1963, including all of The Paris Concert, Bye Bye Blackbird, The European Tour, and Afro Blue Impressions, and supplementing them with extra songs from most of these concerts. Of the 37 tracks, 19 have not previously appeared commercially (except on a number of European bootleg labels with sound ranging from barely acceptable to horrendous), and a 1961 Hamburg concert with Eric Dolphy makes its debut here. A number of titles are repeated throughout the set – six takes of "My Favorite Things" and five versions of both "Impressions" and "Mr. P.C.," along with four takes of "Naima" – but true Coltrane fans will marvel at the differences between them from one concert to the next.
Throughout his career, Count Basie was modest about his own abilities as a pianist, and his success at streamlining his style to the bare essentials often made listeners underrate his playing talents. This 1974 session was a rarity, an opportunity for Basie to be featured in a trio setting (with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Louie Bellson), during which he provides enough variety to hold one's interest and enough technique to lead many to reassess his piano skills.
The Alboran Trio takes its name from the narrow stretch of water which connects Europe and Africa around the Straits of Gibraltar, long a conduit of cultural exchange. Pianist and composer Paolo Paliaga, who formed the group with fellow Italians Dino Contenti (bass) and Gigi Biolcati (drums) in '03, consciously set out to draw on musical traditions from all around the Mediterranean. Meltemi has one foot in the Bill Evans piano trio lineage, the other dancing nimbly between Latin, Maghrebi and Balkan influences. The music rarely breaks into clearly delineated multiculturalism—it's more subtle and elliptical than that—but it's shot through with fragments and suggestions of Mediterranean harmonies and rhythms.
A number of posthumous CDs have appeared following Gerry Mulligan's death in 1996. This one combines two previously unreleased quartet concerts, both featuring Bob Brookmeyer, an equally talented composer and arranger and outstanding valve trombonist. The songs are all familiar to Mulligan fans, including the swinging arrangements of "Laura" and great tunes like "Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are" and "Baubles, Bangles and Beads," which few other jazz groups seem to play. Mulligan's very cool but awkwardly titled "Bweebida Bobbida" and "Utter Chaos," his favorite theme song, round out the material from the 1957 Hollywood Bowl concert. Bassist Joe Benjamin and drummer Dave Bailey (inexplicably listed as "Donald Bailey" on the CD's back cover) make up the capable rhythm section.