This excellent 3-CD set collects two 10" albums by Shank and 4 12" albums co-led by Shank and Cooper, all for the Pacific Jazz/World Pacific labels between 1954-58. The West Coast cool school was at its height at this time, and both Bud Shank and Bob Cooper were in the thick of it. The first disc gets off to a rousing start with the marvelously swinging VALVE IN HEAD from 1954, with Bud playing fluid alto sax. He's joined by three valve trombone players (Bob Enevoldsen, Stu Williamson, and the ringer Maynard Ferguson) on this tune and for the first half of the disc, an interesting concept. The second half finds him with Coop at Cal Tech in 1959. Count Basie's THE KING gets a rousing airing, and there's a nicely done ballad medley.
Multi-media maven Reba McEntire has never been one to rest on her laurels (Associated Press) and continues to prove that her strong work ethic couples well with passion as she prepares to release SING IT NOW, SONGS OF FAITH & HOPE on February 3, 2017 jointly through Nash Icon Records and Capitol Christian Music Group. For an entertainer with an illustrious career that has elicited 35 #1 singles, over 56 million albums sold worldwide, prestigious industry awards, lead acting roles and brand endeavors, new is a rarity yet an art form she has perfected.
With their long track record, Kool & the Gang have always offered dance-provoking rhythms and Something Special fits that bill, too. Featuring the number one single "Take My Heart (You Can Have It If You Want It)," James "J.T." Taylor approaches the song in a cool, mesmerizing tone, closing out the vamp in his falsetto with a burst of energy while the background vocals chant the subtitle throughout the chorus. Not known to lead a song in falsetto, Taylor further utilizes this talent on the motivated rhythms of the nocturnal scenario of "Steppin' Out." It maintained a steady stride, rising to the number ten spot on the charts. The third single from the album was "Get Down on It." As the title indicates, this is a gritty funk track that worked its way up the charts to claim the number three position, selling more than 500,000 copies. Although there were no more charted singles from this album, the entire collection is deserving of recognition. On a slower note, "Pass It On" and "No Show" received regional airplay.