While it's true this set has been given the highest rating AMG awards, it comes with a qualifier: the rating is for the music and the package, not necessarily the presentation. Presentation is a compiler's nightmare in the case of artists like John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, who recorded often and at different times and had most of their recordings issued from the wealth of material available at the time a record was needed rather than culling an album from a particular session.
The Golden Striker is jazz bassist Ron Carter's attempt to break out of a rut. Teamed with pianist Mulgrew Miller and guitarist Russell Malone, Carter attempts to climb out of the pleasant but sleepy, largely academic role he's made recordings in for the past decade or so. It works only partially. The material chosen for this session, from the title track by the late John Lewis to Carter's own swinging contrapuntal study "N.Y. Slick" to an interesting read of the now standard "Concierto de Aranjuez," comes off as too relaxed, too low-key, and basically uninspiring… ~ AllMusic
All good things must come to an end. Thus it is with tears in our eyes and handkerchiefs in hand that, this month, we bring the curtain down on our series of pairings of the Shirelles’ original Scepter albums. We’d love it to have continued for longer but, unfortunately for us all, the girls just did not release enough long players to make that happen. If you’re looking for someone to blame for that, blame Florence Greenberg – Scepter was her label, not ours. Few big (or small) girl groups of the 1960s could have achieved the level of success that they did without the pioneering work of Shirley Alston, Micki Harris, Doris Coley and Beverly Lee. The conclusion of the series is with two very rare albums, neither of which has ever been on CD before.
It was always going to be a dangerous mission. Trevor Churchill’s brainchild, THE GOLDEN AGE OF AMERICAN POP, had been in development for some time and the prototype was about to be launched into the fray with a bundle of seemingly undifferentiated repertoire. The potential embarrassment factor was high with risk of heavy flak on the way and snipers on the ground in the landing zone. Trevor was calling for volunteers. There was a lot of nervous shuffling among the ranks. Some of the lads took to studying their toecaps, while others took an inordinate interest in the state of their cuticles, or tried to look inconspicuous by melting into the background.