This set proves two things about Charlie Parker. One, every note he ever played is worth hearing. Yes, the sound is awful and only Bird's solos are recorded, but after nearly 15 years, this set remains one of my favorites. Two, Bird never played the same note twice. There is a series of solos from In the Mood for Love and every one is completely different. This set is highly recommended for all who ever enjoyed hearing Bird play.
Ritchie Valens was only 17 when he died in 1959 in the same plane crash that claimed the lives of Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper, and he had only been working in a recording studio for about seven months when the tragedy occurred; thus, his musical legacy rests on about an album-and-a-half of completed studio material, a poorly recorded high school concert, and a handful of demos and rehearsal tapes. This set combines Ritchie Valens, Valens' first album for Bob Keane's Del-Fi label (essentially the only truly finished work Valens recorded), with his second, Ritchie, which was cobbled together from demos, rehearsal sessions, and other odds and ends, and ended up with an internal coherence that is pretty remarkable given the circumstances. The set then adds in eight additional tracks, mostly solo demos and live tracks, to present a pretty complete look at Valens' woefully short career. Virtually everything is here.
One of China's biggest pop stars of the late 20th century, Sandy Lam rose to fame in the 1980s as a Cantopop singer before expanding her fan base significantly in the 1990s with stylistically diverse albums in Mandarin, Japanese, and English.
Stan Getz is heard with a variety of different groups in live recordings made while he was living in Denmark in the late '50s. His meeting with Oscar Pettiford is primarily a feature for the bassist in Pettiford's "Laverne Walk." Pianist Bent Axen is a capable partner for the tenor saxophonist, leading a trio to back Getz through a buoyant rendition of Coleman Hawkins' "Stuffy" and playful romps through "Fine and Dandy" and "Lester Leaps In." Getz is accompanied by Ib Glindemann & His Orchestra for several standards and the obscurity "Rain." The audio quality varies widely, seeming to come from broadcasts and location recordings, though not all of the source material has aged equally well. Still, this facet of Stan Getz's career is not to be overlooked, and any sonic shortcomings can be easily forgiven.