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Freddie Redd – Shades Of Redd
Shades of Redd, in summary, is part of the continuing self-portrait Freddie Redd is developing as a jazz performer-writer. The colors are all of the jazz language, and the mixer has made them reflect his own unique view of life on and off the stand.
Hank Mobley – Soul Station
You simply hear, at first, four men swinging lightly, powerfully, and with great assurance and authority. You relax, listen, and enjoy yourself. And then later, when you think about it, you realize just how much of an achievement this apparently casual LP represents. This album features Hank Mobley at the peak of his powers, taking lengthy solos full of passion and drive. His four originals include his most famous composition, "This I Dig Of You”, which he squeezes for every ounce of its expressive power. Hank plays with heartbreaking lyricism on "If I Should Lose You". If proof were ever needed of Hank Mobley's greatness, Soul Station is perfect evidence.
Horace Parlan – On The Spur Of The Moment
Originally released by Blue Note in 1961 in mono only, this rare and highly collectible title has now been cut from the original 2-track stereo masters for an audiophile's dream-come-true. Solid performances from the leader on piano, with front-line support on sax and trumpet from the Turrentine brothers, plus Al Harewood's bass and George Tucker on drums.
Lou Donaldson with the 3 Sounds – LD+3
The Three Sounds were a very popular group in the late 1950s/early '60s and for good reason. Pianist Gene Harris, bassist Andy Simpkins and drummer Bill Dowdy always knew how to lay down an irresistible groove, they infused every song they played with a heavy dose of the blues and they could out-swing any combo while never being stingy with the soul. The same could be said for altoist Lou Donaldson. Influenced by Charlie Parker but a bluesier player, Donaldson in the 1950s held his own on sessions with Clifford Brown, Thelonious Monk and Jimmy Smith while gaining a strong following with his series of Blue Note recordings. LD+3 is a very special recording from 1959 featuring Donaldson and the Three Sounds really inspiring and pushing each other.
Sonny Rollins – Sonny Rollins/s/t
"I’ve heard a lot of Blue Note originals and myriad reissues over the years, but based on the sample test pressings heard so far, none—and I mean none—convey the intensity of living, breathing music-making the way the Music Matter’s Blue Note series does. The sense of air, texture, and dynamic pop in these grooves is astonishing." - Wayne Garcia, The Absolute Sound