Encountering the name Woody Shaw (1944-1989) in print or conversation, it's not uncommon for a phrase much like "the last original trumpet voice" to follow. For Shaw was just such a player: a daring horn stylist with an utterly personal and technically advanced approach that has yet to be matched since his untimely death.
This wonderful set includes the albums he recorded for Columbia Records between 1972 and 1979 (most of which he produced himself), as well as the soundtrack LP to a Dutch film called Forest Eyes from 1979, and a bonus disc of Getz at Carnegie Hall for the 40th anniversary of the Woody Herman band that also includes live sets from the 1977 Montreux Jazz and the 1979 Havana Jam festivals. It's beautifully packaged, and Getz is Getz throughout.
The Mahavishnu Orchestra, in its original incarnation, lasted just four years, but in that brief time, the pioneering quintet set both the template and the high-water mark for fusion music. No band ever rocked as hard in a jazzy place as guitarist John McLaughlin’s charging ensemble. McLaughlin had already built a firm reputation in his native England as a keen improviser with blues and rock leanings when he was invited by drummer Tony Williams in early 1969 to join him in New York. Almost immediately, McLaughlin was swept up into the very epicenter of the burgeoning fusion movement, appearing on – in 1969 alone – three of the genre’s most significant recordings: Emergency! (by the newly-formed Tony Williams Lifetime) and In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew, the epochal Miles Davis albums that kick started fusion.
Tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon had been an expatriate since 1963 when he discovered Europe was where the consistently paying jazz gigs were to be found. In 1976 he returned to the States and began recording for Columbia Records and also embarked on an acting career. Sony Legacy repackaged and re-released six Dexter Gordon albums of that era in their entirety with mini-LP sleeves and original cover art: Homecoming: Live at the Village Vanguard (1976), Sophisticated Giant (1977), Manhattan Symphonie (1978), Live at Carnegie Hall (1978), and Gotham City (1980).
Decades before Corey Harris, Guy Davis, and Keb' Mo' wed the Delta blues to various folk forms, there was Taj Mahal. Almost from the very beginning, Mahal provided audiences with connections to a plethora of blues styles. Further, he offered hard evidence connecting American blues to folk styles from other nations, particularly, but not limited to, those from the West Indies and various African countries, bridging gaps, highlighting similarities, and establishing links between many experiences of the African diaspora…
The most versatile of the R&B-steeped bar bands that played the club circuit in the Pacific Northwest in the early '60s, Paul Revere & the Raiders at their best somehow managed to merge Spike Jones, King Curtis, James Brown, the Byrds, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Kinks, and the Rolling Stones into one rollicking pop pastiche. They also had energy, drive, and ambition, and they knew how – and were willing – to play the game. This three-disc, 66-track set collects all of the singles, both A- and B-sides, the group released for Columbia Records between 1963 and 1975.
Gathered here for the first time are all of the recordings Herbie Hancock (b. 1940) made for Columbia Records U.S. and CBS/Sony Records Japan between 1972 and 1988–a stunningly creative, 17-year period, yielding 31 albums. Eight of the titles in this set have never been released outside of Japan. This collection of 34 newly-remastered CDs showcases Herbie's virtuosity in a dazzling display of musical styles. It is a testament to his fearlessness, innovation, and ever-evolving curiosity, as well as his significant commercial success–the platinum certifications of Head Hunters and Future Shock.
These four discs offer completely unreleased performances by the Weather Report lineup of keyboardist Joe Zawinul, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, bassist Jaco Pastorius, drummer Peter Erskine, and a bit later, percussionist Bobby Thomas, Jr. It was compiled for release by Erskine (whose historical essay and annotated track notes are fantastic) and Tony Zawinul, Joe's son. These are mostly soundboard cassettes made by WR's longtime live sound engineer Brian Risner, with choice audience tapes and commercial mobile rig selections mixed in. While it (mostly) sounds like an excellent bootleg, the sound here is remarkable given the root sources. Similar to 2002's Live and Unreleased, the material is not arranged chronologically.