This CD reissue (put out in 1990) may be hard to find, now that Savoy has been sold to the Japanese Denon label. Originally issued under flugelhornist Wilbur Harden's name, the 1958 quartet (which also includes pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist George Duvivier and drummer Granville T. Hogan) performs nine Rodgers & Hammerstein songs mostly taken from The King and I, plus a reprise and an alternate take of "Hello Young Lovers." The interpretations are tasteful yet swinging, and include such familiar tunes as "Getting to Know You" and "We Kiss In a Shadow," along with some obscurities. Enjoyable music.
As an Australian, guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel doesn't seem to be much bothered about musical categories. Is his music jazz, folk, bluegrass, new age? Depending on the track, it can be any one. Like his mentor, Chet Atkins, Emmanuel is simply a guitar player, and on Little by Little, a two-CD set, he sticks mostly to acoustic guitar, playing mostly originals, tunes that he has used in concert but not recorded before. He is also mostly solo, although the double-disc length allows him room to share space with guests including singers Pam Rose (on her co-composition "Haba Na Hava") and Anthony Snape (on the folk-rock "Willie's Shades"). Among the covers are two versions of "Moon River," one with a bass countermelody, the other with an Emmanuel vocal, Carole King's "Tapestry," Atkins' "Mountains of Illinois," and "The Tennessee Waltz." Emmanuel plays fast runs, slows down for delicate passages, and adds harmonics on tunes that evoke players including Will Ackerman and John Fahey. He also likes folk-pop; "Papa George" needs only a James Taylor vocal to fit into that category. But Little by Little is a tour de force by a musician who usually leaves categories behind.
Recently remastered and released on CD for the 1st time on the Pressure Sounds label. Very rare LP. Although Reggae in Jazz was attributed to Tommy McCook when it was originally released as an LP in 1976 on Dennis Harris' Eve Records imprint, it was never truly a McCook album. A tenor saxophone player, McCook was a pivotal member of Jamaica's legendary Skatalites in the mid-'60s, a band that, although they were together for only 14 months, completely defined the instrumental template for ska, mixing in big-band jazz sensibilities with Latin and samba rhythms and buru drumming to create the first of Jamaica's many distinct pop styles.
Tommy Flanagan's first trio album was recorded in August 1957 and titled Overseas. By the time Overseas was taped, Flanagan had already participated on more than 25 albums, an impressive number considering that his first studio appearance was in March 1956. Albums prior to his first trio recordings include collaborations with Kenny Burrell, Thad Jones, Miles Davis, Kenny Clarke, Sahib Shihab, Oscar Pettiford, Phil Woods, Sonny Rollins, Bobby Jaspar, Donald Byrd, J. J. Johnson, Cecil Payne, Herbie Mann and, last but not least, John Coltrane. These collaborations produced such essential jazz albums as Rollins' Saxophone Colossus and Miles' Collector's Items…