In June and September of 1952, Joe Sullivan recorded eight versions of songs composed but never recorded by Thomas "Fats" Waller. Issued on a 10" LP entitled Fats Waller First Editions, this music soon drifted into obscurity. It resurfaced years later on Mosaic's The Columbia Jazz Piano Moods Sessions, a limited-edition box set of seven CDs. In January of 2004, the Classics Chronological series quietly released all eight of these magnificent trio renderings as part of the continuing saga of Joe Sullivan. Hardly anybody seems to have noticed this important historical development. Yet Fats Waller devotees everywhere should be notified, as they now have ready access to Waller melodies with titles like "What's Your Name," "Solid Eclipse," "Never Heard of Such Stuff," and "If You Can't Be Good, Be Careful"…
Tony Joe White, the original swamp rocker, continues to garner critical acclaim; his songwriting skills have only sharpened over the years and he remains a potent force. It was by combining country, rock and funky blue-eyed soul for his 1969 Top 10 Hit 'Polk Salad Annie' that White established his credentials. His album Dangerous was released Columbia Records in 1983, which featured the country hits 'The Lady in My Life' and 'We Belong Together'.
The legendary pianist Joe Albany, whose career was largely fouled up by drugs, recorded several rewarding sets during 1971-82. This solo album (originally recorded for the Japanese Trio label before being made available domestically on an obscure SeaBreeze Lp) is relaxed, thoughtful and shows off Albany's roots in the bop era although the pianist generally sounded at his best in a trio setting. Highlights include "A.B. (After Bird) Blues II," "You Stepped Out Of A Dream" and "A Night In Tunisia."
Joe Pass was without peer as a jazz guitarist during the last two decades of his life; this is one of many expected posthumous releases to emerge since his death. Because Pass concentrated primarily on solo and small-group recording sessions, it is a treat to hear him backed by larger ensembles like the NDR Big Band and Radio Philharmonic. The arrangements are respectful of the star and unobtrusive, with show tunes ("On a Clear Day"), standards ("Soft Winds"), and originals like his upbeat "Waltz for Django." The only person who might be dissatisfied with this CD would have been Joe himself, who was extremely well known for criticizing nearly every recording he ever released.