During a five-year period the Master Jazz label recorded 11 swing-based pianists in solo settings. Although the label went under later in the decade, the recordings were treasured by collectors. Mosaic, on this four-CD set, brought back all of the music from the original five-volume Master Jazz Piano series, adding two unissued selections and a full album released separately of Ram Ramirez's playing. In addition to Ramirez (who is heard on 13 numbers), there are 13 performances by Earl Hines, four apiece from Claude Hopkins, Cliff Jackson, Keith Dunham, Sonny White, Teddy Wilson, Cliff Smalls and the obscure Gloria Hearn, eight by Jay McShann and two from Sir Charles Thompson. Most of these pianists (other than Hines and Wilson) rarely recorded during this period in their careers, making this box very important both musically and historically.
Mainstream-swing-to-bop's the thing on the two 1960 Swingville gems paired here, both of which feature one of the foremost Basieites on tenor saxophone, George "Buddy" Tate. Tate (1913-2001), whose big-toned blues mastery is his longtime calling card, is an integral part of a lively quintet date led by Claude Hopkins (1903-1984), the first of three fine albums the pianist-composer-bandleader would pilot for Swingville.
Lightnin’ Hopkins is arguably the greatest Texas blues star of the 1960s era. A country bluesman of the highest caliber, his career began in the 1920s and stretched all the way into the 1980s. Along the way, Hopkins watched the genre change remarkably, but he never altered his mournful Lone Star sound, which translated onto both acoustic and electric guitar. His style, strong rhythms punctuated by his flowing but compact lead lines, created a stinging and heart-tearing evocative sound.
Lightnin' Hopkins was one of the greatest and most popular authentic blues artists. These 26 titles comprise the first 13 singles released by Lightnin' Hopkins between 1947 and 1952. They weren't his first recordings but they were the first released under his own name. Although he did record with other musicians and even with full bands it's these acoustic classics that best illustrate his art and they are some of the most endearing blues tracks ever recorded. Includes the popular songs "Katie Mae Blues", "Big Mama Jump" and his biggest chart hit "Shotgun Blues". A true genius of the genre, this Lightnin' Hopkins release by Jasmine is a must have for blues and R&B fans.
Jon Hopkins' next album, Singularity, will see release via Domino on May 4th. Singularity is influenced by the UK producer's experiences with meditation and trance states, the label says. It embraces a wide stylistic range that spans "rugged techno to transcendent choral music, from solo acoustic piano to psychedelic ambient."
Before becoming the driving force behind Led Zeppelin, guitarist Jimmy Page was a session man, hawking his talent to dozens of bands on the British beat scene, including this 1968 session for fledgling singer Keith De Groot's debut album. However, whatever talent De Groot had was swiftly eclipsed by the sheer force of his backing band, which included future Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, keyboard legend Nicky Hopkins and guitar hero Albert Lee, whose lightning fast licks and Fender Telecaster soon made him an icon of British rock…
Lightnin' Hopkins' plaintive, soft-rolling blues style is exemplified on "Let's Go Sit on the Lawn," "Just a Wristwatch on My Arm," "I'm a Crawling Black Snake," Willie Dixon's "My Babe," and others. Accompanied only by himself on guitar (and oh what a guitar he plays), Leonard Gaskin (bass), and Herb Lovelle (drums), Hopkins' seductive, intricate guitar picks and strums will dance around in your head long after this CD has played. His voice, which sounds like it's aged in Camels and Jim Beam, conveys his heartfelt sagas to the fullest. A prolific songwriter, Hopkins wrote every song except the Dixon tune.
The Piano Quintet in A minor is "grand" in more ways than one. It lasts more than 37 minutes. Each movement possesses its own fascination. The first offers heaving, swelling romantic music and engages all the instruments in daunting fashion. The second is a haunting, relentless scherzo that starts off with a lighter sound to build suspense. The slow third, major key movement starts off in rather saccharine style but turns persuasive in its own way.