The Kansas City alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, who was to post-second-world-war jazz what Louis Armstrong had been to its first wave, is as likely to be remembered today for his heroin habit and early death than for his exquisite and melodically stunning improvising. If that era's jazz is like journalism, Parker was its acutely observant war reporter, who kept coming back from the front of his own exploding world with new stories to tell.
Reissue with SHM-CD format and new 24bit remastering. Guitarist Johnny Smith plays the music of Jimmy Van Heusen – a composer whose understated approach is a perfect match for the subtle style of the stringman! The songs are mostly easygoing numbers, in a style that suits Johnny well – and allows him to open up those fluid tones and colors in just the right way. Backing is by a trio that features Bob Pancoast on piano, George Roumanis on bass, and Gerry Segal on drums – working with a vibe that matches the strength of Smith's other Roost sessions from the time – the kind of albums that helped redefine the role of the guitar in jazz during the postwar years.
Reissue with SHM-CD format and new 24bit remastering. A beautiful document of some of the most laidback jazz ever recorded – the sublime 50s recordings of the Johnny Smith group, done at a time when the lineup included Stan Getz! The tunes on the set feature Johnny's mellow electric guitar setting the pace, alongside wonderfully-blown early solos from Stan, plus some other tenor work from Zoot Sims and Paul Quinichette, who also sit in the tenor chair on a few of these recordings. The tunes are mostly standards, but done in a great style that's not exactly cool jazz, but which has a groundbreakingly easy groove that's simply sublime!
Believe it or not, Gold is the first compilation with U.S. distribution to provide a fair and rather thorough glance at Kool & the Gang’s career from 1969 through 1987. Dozens upon dozens of other sets either focus on one of the group’s distinct eras or attempt clumsily to appease those who want “Jungle Boogie” and “Joanna” in one spot. The Chronicles catalog division of Mercury realized that roughly 90 percent of Kool & the Gang’s chart hits can fit neatly on two discs, so this is an ideal package for casual fans who can appreciate raw ’70s funk and slick, radio-friendly ’80s R&B.