The intent of this set is pretty clear from the titles of each of the six discs: Meditations; Orchestral Fireworks; Invitation to the Dance; Nocturne; Pomp & Circumstance; Grand Opera. This is mood or 'theme' music designed to provide either a background or a sequence of 'tasters' initiating the person who comes fresh to classical music with a sampling from the 'great and the good'. True the 'great and the good' are all from the core repertoire; not even a scintilla of Janacek, Nielsen, Adams, Reich which is a shame.
Jimmy Thackery's eight CDs for the Blind Pig label rank with the finest work of his career. A passionate blues guitarist and an effective singer, Thackery brings creativity and a freshness to his renditions of blues, blues ballads, and near-blues. This sampler draws its 13 selections from the eight releases, putting the emphasis on the leader. Thackery is heard in guitar-bass-drums trios for eight of the selections and joined by various guests (including one appearance apiece by guitarists Lonnie Brooks, Duke Robillard, and John Mooney) on the other five tracks. The Essential Jimmy Thackery lives up to its name and serves as a perfect introduction to the bluesman's music.