Jazz pianist Beegie Adair's series of "romantic songs" songbook albums, devoted to the major songwriters of the interwar era (there are also titles for George Gershwin, Hoagy Carmichael, Irving Berlin, and Richard Rodgers), tend to have photographs of affectionate couples on the covers, as does this one, featuring the music of Duke Ellington. That's a signal that the recordings are intended to accompany the listeners on their own romantic adventures, as much as express the feelings of the songwriters.
Very nice set of Mingus' legendary Candid recordings – produced in 1960, after Mingus angrily departed Columbia records, and was finally given the freedom to work in the way that he wanted. The recordings are some of Mingus best – and they feature a righteous anger and sheer jazz power that's unmatched by few other recordings.
This concert film captures beloved pianist and musician Dr. John performing a 1995 concert. The setlist includes "Iko Iko," "Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You," "Right Place, Wrong Time," "Goin' Back to New Orleans," "Mess Around," amd "Makin' Whoopee."
Although he didn't become widely known until the 1970s, Dr. John had been active in the music industry since the late '50s, when the teenager was still known as Mac Rebennack. A formidable boogie and blues pianist with a lovable growl of a voice, his most enduring achievements fused with New Orleans R&B, rock, and Mardi Gras craziness to come up with his own brand of "voodoo" music. He's also quite accomplished and enjoyable when sticking to purely traditional forms of blues and R&B. On record, he veers between the two approaches, making for an inconsistent and frequently frustrating legacy that often makes the listener feel as if "the Night Tripper" (as he's nicknamed himself) has been underachieving.
"Exotic and Latin albums were big deals in the 1950s and early '60s, and singers as diverse as Dean Martin, Lena Horne, and Peggy Lee were recording with castanets and bongo drums. Peggy Lee was so successful at the style that she cut two albums of light pseudo-Latin jazz in 1960. Like Peggy Lee, Julie London combined a restrained vocal approach with jazz phrasing and a cool attitude with icy sex appeal…"