Respected British drummer Simon Phillips has a resume that’s as long as your arm…assuming you have a long arm. Here on his fourth release under the Protocol title he once again is performing with Greg Howe, Ernest Tibbs and Dennis Hamm. Together they’ve created fifty-eight minutes of some of the finest instrumental Fusion music I’ve heard in a long time. Most of these tunes are longer, in the six to eight minute range allowing for a great mix of combo performance and soloing. After all, this is a genre and an album that showcases performance and instrumental virtuosity, and on Protocol 4 we get plenty of both.
Classics' chronological reissue of Bechet's recordings (at least the regular takes) continues with a pair of songs made with blues singer Josh White, eight very enjoyable performances cut with a quartet consisting of cornetist Muggsy Spanier, guitarist Carmen Mastren and bassist Wellman Braud, and a pair of Bechet's Victor sessions…
Widely acknowledged as one of the finest of the American Idol winners, Phillip Phillips suffered the shrapnel from arriving too late in the show's run to turn into a true superstar. He came storming out of the gates with "Home," his coronation song for taking the crown in the eleventh season of American Idol in 2012, but once his 2014 sophomore set Behind the Light stiffed, he became embroiled in a lawsuit with 19 Entertainment – another sign that he was hobbled by appearing on Idol late in its run, when all of the management contracts were ironclad.
To say that this limited-edition six-LP Mosaic box is overflowing with classics is an understatement. Included are a variety of small-group sessions (with overlapping personnel) from the early days of Blue Note. The Edmond Hall Celeste Quartet has five songs that are the only existing examples of Charlie Christian playing acoustic guitar; clarinetist Hall, Meade Lux Lewis (on celeste), and bassist Israel Crosby complete the unique group. The king of stride piano, James P. Johnson, is heard on eight solos; other combos are led by Johnson, Hall (who heads four groups in all), trumpeter Sidney DeParis, and trombonist Vic Dickenson (heard in a 1952 quartet with organist Bill Doggett).