Abbey Lincoln – Straight Ahead
Abbey Lincoln – Straight Ahead
This is one of Abbey Lincoln's greatest recordings. It is a testament to the credibility of her very honest music (and her talents) that Lincoln's sidemen on this date include the immortal tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins who takes a memorable solo on "Blue Monk"), Eric Dolphy on flute and alto, trumpeter Booker Little (whose melancholy tone is very important in the ensembles), pianist Mal Waldron , and drummer Max Roach. Highpoints include "When Malindy Sings," "Blue Monk," Billie Holiday’s "Left Alone," and "African Lady."
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Alejandro Almenares – Casa De Trova Cuba 50’s
Alejandro Almenares – Casa De Trova Cuba 50’s
If you’re a fan of the Buena Vista Social Club, this guy’s gonna make them seem like a bunch of posers. Composer, vocalist and tres guitarist, Alejandro Almenares delivers the real thing from Cuba here on this set. This double vinyl set contains the same songs (although in different order); the difference is that the first features his rich and full voice, while the second features his material as (mostly) instrumentals. Flutes, percussion, violin, soprano sax, guitars and intermittent vocal choruses accompany Almenares on the gentle and fragrant instrumental takes of “No Critiques Al Nene” and “La Nina Que Yo Ame”, while vocalists Tony Rodon, Eva Grinan, Jose Cabrera and Ismael Borges deliver tales of passion on “Mujercita “Linda”, A Tu Retrato”, “Te Vi Y Te Contemple” and “De Lo Que Quiero Saber” respectively. The simplicity of the old world charms are on abundant display here. No gimmicks, no frills, just earnest notes and, like the best of cooks, letting the simple ingredients do all the work in creating the flavor that makes your mouth water. Essential listening! "Casa de Trova – Cuba 50’s" - various soloists and bands
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Ann Peebles : I Can’t Stand The Rain
Ann Peebles : I Can’t Stand The Rain
Recording: 1973 at Royal Recording Studios, South Lauderdale, Memphis, Tennessee Production: Willie Mitchell
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Annie Ross Sings A Song With Mulligan!
Annie Ross Sings A Song With Mulligan!
Annie has been singing wondrously well, with strong swing, peppery bite, archness and potent feeling since 1950 when first I heard her in Paris. But, until Richard Bock made the dead right decision to record la Ross with Gerry Mulligan, Annie's perambulating orchard has been almost shut except to those peripatetic addicts who got hooked on Ross in the jazz backyards of Paris, London and New York.
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B B King – Singin’ the Blues
B B King – Singin’ the Blues
King's vocals are exciting, playful and soulful; the horns are jumpin' and the piano honky tonks that thang all the way home. A number of the songs contained on these first recordings went on to become B.B. King classics, performed and re-recorded down through the years, but here are the first fresh, hot-from-the-oven versions of such tunes as "Did You Ever Love A Woman," "Every Day I Have The Blues" and "Sweet Little Angel." This is home cookin' and these are the original recipes.
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Sale! Betty Carter – Now It’s My Turn
Betty Carter – Now It’s My Turn
"Based upon the diversity of music, quality of product and their extraordinary rate of progress, Pure Pleasure Records is our re-issue record company of the year." - hi-fi+ Re-issue AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow The title of this out-of-print Roulette album was a bit premature for it would not be until the late '80s before Betty Carter was finally "discovered." An adventurous jazz singer whose musical integrity is almost as impressive as her talents at improvising, Carter is heard in top form throughout her obscure album. Assisted by pianist John Hicks, bassist Walter Booker and an unidentified drummer, Carter performs memorable renditions of such unlikely material as "Wagon Wheels," "Most Gentlemen Don't Like Love" and medleys of "Music Maestro Please/Swing Brother Swing" and "Just Friends/Star Eyes." Worth searching for.
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Sale! Big Maybelle : The Okeh Sessions
Big Maybelle : The Okeh Sessions
With her bold, gritty sound, she comes off like nothing so much as a female Howlin' Wolf, and one can't imagine her not being an influence on the full-throttle blues of Etta James, Aretha, Janis Joplin and countless others. "So Good to My Baby" features typically microphone-distorting belting from the singer, and an appropriately blazing horn section. "Gabbin' Blues", her 1952 Okeh debut smash, is a humorous dialogue between Maybelle and gossiping rival Rose Marie McCoy, the tune's co-writer. One of the most stirring cuts here is "Ocean Of Tears", a percolating, minor-key tune in which Maybelle bemoans her sorrowful state with an unforgettably cathartic angst. Also impressive, though, are ballads such as "You'll Never Know", "Ain't No Use", and "You'll Be Sorry", which show a pleasant, softer side to Maybelle's craft. "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" - a song that she took to the top of the R&B charts before Jerry Lee Lewis turned it into a rock & roll anthem -, her 1955 single "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show" and 1954's "I'm Getting 'Long Alright", are also standouts. New York session wizards such as tenor saxophonist Sam 'The Man' Taylor and guitarist Mickey Baker provide great support throughout. The tracks contained on this album showcase one of the greatest blues singers of all time, at her prime.
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Bill Evans & Jim Hall – Undercurrent
Bill Evans & Jim Hall – Undercurrent
This is a brilliant jazz album, of great depth and tremendous atmosphere, and both players express some exceptional ideas. AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow Other than four piano solos from April 4, 1962, this set was pianist Bill Evans' first recordings after a hiatus caused by bassist Scott LaFaro's tragic death in a car accident. The first of two meetings on record in a duo format with guitarist Jim Hall, the collaborations are often exquisite. Both Evans and Hall had introspective and harmonically advanced styles along with roots in hard-swinging bebop. There is more variety than expected on the fine set with some cookers, ballads, waltzes, and even some hints at classical music. Recommended.
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Billie Holiday – Lady Day
Billie Holiday – Lady Day
Excerpt from George Avakian’s notes on the album sleeve: When planning this album, I had a hellish time trying to choose what I thought were the absolute cream of Billie Holiday. In the course of this wrestling, it struck me that not only were Billie’s vocals incredibly perfect, but that I could not remember a single instance of anyone playing a bad solo or even a bad phrase among the hundred or more performances I had to choose from in the golden period of her work.  
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Blues Jam At Chess – Various Artists
Blues Jam At Chess – Various Artists
Every once in a great while you come across a record and recording that is incredible. Desert island or whatever. This is it. What makes it more fun is nobody knows about it and you have it. The sound is audiophile and oh the music! No matter your taste you will love it. If your into blues and guitar it will blow you away. My advice is get this undiscovered gem at any cost before the word gets out! Remastered by Ray Staff from the original quarter-inch analog master tapes and pressed at Pallas in Germany.
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Booker Little – Out Front
Booker Little – Out Front
In OUT FRONT, Booker Little is actually not At all "far out" in the usual sense of that term. He is, on the contrary, a strongly self-disciplined creator of forms that follow his own inner feelings. There is in his work as player and composer a rare and stimulating combination of sense and sensibility, clarity and daring.
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Budd Johnson & Earl Hines – Mr Bechet
Budd Johnson & Earl Hines – Mr Bechet
Budd Johnson didn't do much recording as a leader, so this French studio date is particularly valuable. He's reunited with Earl Hines, with whom he played during three stints between 1932-1942; they're joined by drummer Panama Francis and bassist Jimmy Leary.
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