Jazz Icons: Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers features what many consider to be one of the finest line-ups in the history of jazz—Art Blakey (Drums), Bobby Timmons (Piano), Jymie Merritt (Bass), Benny Golson (Sax) and the legendary trumpet player, Lee Morgan. Lost for nearly 50 years, this historic 55-minute concert, filmed in Belgium in 1958, one month to the day after they recorded their masterpiece Moanin', is the only known visual document of this influential band who were together for only six months.
An incredible tribute to German pianist Jutta Hipp – one of the few female players in the postwar European jazz scene, and one of the few who managed to make a splash on this side of the Atlantic too! Jutta's best known to American audiences for a handful of records she cut for Blue Note – and this set takes those records, and moves way way past them – to including a huge range of material that really opens up our understanding of Hipp's music in her all-too-short career! The CDs feature early German recordings – in a number of sessions with small groups that include a quintet with Emil Mangelsdorff on alto and Joki Freeund on tenor, a number of performances in the New Jazz Stars group of tenorist Hans Koller, work in a quintet with Attila Zoller on guitar, another sextet with Albert Mangelsdorff on trombone, and a group co-led with baritone saxoponist Lars Gullin.
Once one of the most visible and winning jazz vibraphonists of the 1960s, then an R&B bandleader in the 1970s and '80s, Roy Ayers' reputation s now that of one of the prophets of acid jazz, a man decades ahead of his time.
Produced for release by John Matarazzo, head of Hudson Street Entertainment group, this 109-minute long DVD includes highlights from the 1990 and 1991 issues of the now defunct Live Under The Sky jazz festival. Filmed in Tokyo, starts with an all-star quartet - Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Dave Holland (on electric bass!) and Jack DeJohnette - performing "Jack In".
To the layman like myself, Jeff Healey was known primarily as a blues guitarist. He grew up in Toronto and was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, and had his eyes surgically removed before his first birthday. Despite this, he managed to carve out a niche for himself in blues, and even helped parlay the praise of his debut album "See the Light" into a speaking role in the 1989 cult classic Road House.
Generally acclaimed as fusion's greatest drummer, Billy Cobham's explosive technique powered some of the genre's most important early recordings including groundbreaking efforts by Miles Davis and the Mahavishnu Orchestra before he became an accomplished bandleader in his own right.
En Vivo Conciertos España is the first release of new material in seven years, and first live album in 18, by the flamenco guitar god par excellence. While de Lucía's output has slowed down considerably in the past two decades, the same cannot be said of his prodigious dexterity, in light of this two-CD set culled from his 2010 Spanish tour. De Lucía performs extended variations of eight of his compositions (almost every track surpasses the ten-minute mark) together with his new band of guitarist Antonio Sánchez, bassist Alain Pérez, singers David de Jacoba and Duquende, harmonica player Antonio Serrano, and dancer Farru, all eminently up to de Lucía's notoriously high standards. A DVD with the "making-of" documentary La Inmortalidad del Concierto completes the release.
Not many records can be pinpointed as genuine historical turning points, but La Leyenda Del Tiempo is a bona fide before/after landmark in the flamenco world. El Camarón de la Isla, almost universally regarded as the greatest flamenco singer of all time, put aside his classic partnership with Paco de Lucía to record with different musicians and incorporate rock and jazz elements on an album often called the Sgt. Pepper's of flamenco. It was a radical, daring step by a singer in his late twenties who opened the door for a whole wave of musicians and bands who are still major figures in Spanish music. It cemented the legend of El Camarón de la Isla as a towering creative force who, much like Bob Marley in reggae, brought flamenco into the present without losing the essence of the root tradition.
When Van Morrison's double-length It's Too Late to Stop Now was released in 1974, it was an anomaly. Compiled from eight nights on his 1973 tour with his 11-piece Caledonia Soul Orchestra, it appeared months prior to Hard Nose the Highway. Contrary to standard industry practice of the time, its contents weren't doctored in the studio afterwards: There were no added overdubs or masked flubs. Some critics took issue with its sound – claiming the band, particularly the horns, were too thin – but there was no debate about the performances. It remains revered as one of the greatest concert recordings ever.