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Anne Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival 1972 45rpm Box Set
Hands down one of the greatest festival recordings ever! Out of circulation for nearly twenty years, this great two-record set from 1973 was made available once again by Classic Records. It’s a document of an incredible three days (Sept. 8-10, 1972) of powerful music, attended by more than 15,000 fans at Otis Spann Memorial Field in Ann Arbor Michigan. Hopefully, future re-examination of the Ann Arbor Festival 1972 will yield full sets by each of the participants, including those not represented on this LP, such as Miles Davis, Pharaoh Sanders, and Lightin’ Slim! Classic Records approached this obscure and rare release with the idea that it deserved the best sonic treatment ever. As such, the decision was made by Michael Hobson, founder of Classic Records, to cut the original two record set at 45 rpm** and issue it as 8 single sided 180g LP's.
Arnett Cobb – Sizzlin’
Another of Arnett Cobb's great Prestige sessions, this one from late 1960. Arnett Cobb and his tenor sax are joined by Red Garland on piano, J.C. Heard on drums and George Tucker on bass. The quartet cruises through six tunes – including two Arnett Cobb originals and a couple of old standards in 'The Way You Look Tonight' and 'Georgia On My Mind.'
Art Blakey Jazz Messengers – Caravan
This is an event: the Riverside debut of Art Blakey's assertive and stimulating band, in an album that finds the group celebrating its new affiliation by performing at top level form. The name "Messengers" has been an apt description of Art's several groups down through the years to this sextet. For the ability to communicate directly to an audience - to deliver the message - is and always has been a Blakey hallmark.
Art Pepper Quintet – Smack Up
Art Pepper left a legacy of innumerable appearances on records, but his sessions for Contemporary always seemed to find him in the best company and in the best shape. Here his impassioned alto sax is appropriately applied to the compositions of six saxophonists, among them Benny Carter, Ornette Coleman, and Pepper himself.
Bill Evans Trio – at Shelly’s Manne-Hole
This is the last album Bill Evans made for his first label. That fact alone would give this at least historical significance; and there is surely also some importance to its being one of only two occasions on which the pianist was recorded for Riverside during "live" performance (the other, of course, resulted in the classic pair of Village Vanguard albums). But above all, these two nights at Shelly Manne's club in Hollywood marked the only recording by the excellent but short-term third trio; after the death of Scott LaFaro, bassist Chuck Israels joined Bill and Paul Motian; then in 1963 Los Angeles studio-stalwart drummer Larry Bunker made this brief but noteworthy contribution to the Evans legend.
Billie Holiday – Body And Soul -45
Small jazz groups brought out the best in Billie Holiday - especially groups as good as the one heard on this classic 1957 recording. Ben Webster, Harry 'Sweets' Edison and the other members of this stellar ensemble were not just gifted soloists but sensitive accompanists as well. 'Lady Day' was rarely more ably supported than she was on this program of sturdy standards, including three gems by the Gershwin brothers - and she rarely sounded more luminous. Recording: in mono
Coleman Hawkins – Good Old Broadway
The pleasures of Good Old Broadway as toured by Coleman Hawkins and his colleagues are multiple and durable, and they focus again on the extraordinary reservoir of inventiveness which Hawkins has maintained throughout his long period of maturity. As Roy Eldridge says, "One night you'll say he's played his best, and the next night he'll top that."
Coleman Hawkins – The Hawk Relaxes
Despite the inherent modesty of its title, The Hawk Relaxes is far more than merely a tenor saxophonist – albeit one of the greatest who ever lived – at his ease. Recorded for Prestige's Moodsville subsidiary, the album presents Coleman Hawkins, paterfamilias of the tenor and one of its master balladeers.
Count Basie – Basie Jam
At the heart of every group is the rhythm section and at the heart of this one is Basie, directing operations with the help of Ray Brown and Louie Bellson. The sweetness of an echo from the past, the instrumental playing generally possesses rather more than just instrumental nuances; for there are moments when the passion of the blues playing is so insistent as to call up the ghost of old.
Count Basie Big Band – “Farmers Market Barbecue”
From his earliest days in territory bands in the Southwest, Count Basie had a secret: How to make a collection of instrumentalists generate rhythmic thrust so irresistible that no listener's foot could remain motionless. Basie's swing was the opposite of tense. Relaxed is what it was, and powerful. Through five and a half decades, Basie never lost the ability to infect a band with his swing magic. This edition of his swing machine, recorded just a couple of years before his death, is evidence of the continuing force of that magic.