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A Buck Clayton Jam Session – How Hi The Fi
The Buck Clayton LP How Hi The Fi was the first issue in 1954 from the famous Buck Clayton jam sessions. It was recorded at Columbia's 30th Street Studios, which was one of the greatest recording sites in the world (the studio has since been abandoned, which must be one of the most stupid decisions executed by the corporate record industry), with a sound that's still instantly recognizable. These Buck Clayton jam sessions were among the first large scale projects to utilize the potential of the new LP technology.
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."
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
Alison Krauss & Union Station – So Long So Wrong
As usual, it is Alison’s beautiful vocals that give it that "high, lonesome sound." There are 13 vocal songs and one instrumental on this two-record set. Krauss is the lead vocalist on eight of the songs and Union Station members share the other lead vocals. The virtuoso musicians comprising the group are Barry Bales (acoustic bass), Ron Block (banjo, guitar), Adam Steffey (mandolin), and Dan Tyminski (guitar). Of course Krauss started her career as a violinist (fiddler to the bluegrass world) and she doesn’t leave that instrument out either.
Ann Peebles : Straight From The Heart
Ann Peebles’ climb up the career ladder was rather more conventional than spectacular in the tough, rough days of rhythm and blues. She was first discovered when she appeared in Memphis nightclubs, was given a break by the big-band leader Gene 'Bowlegs' Miller, and landed her first top hit with the celebrated song "I Can’t Stand The Rain". Towards the end of the Seventies she made a well-timed retreat just before the outbreak of the highly commercialised disco wave, only to return many years later with a revival of her old songs.
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.
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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Antonio Carlos Jobim – Wave
For this recording only the best of the best was good enough, as can be seen from the names of participating soloists on the sidelines such as Jimmy Cleveland and Urbie Green (trombone), and Ron Carter (bass) who created a sensation together with Miles Davis in the early 60s. Once again – as so often during that era – the excellent sound is all thanks to the recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder.
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!!!!!
Four jazz evergreens give the musicians the time and opportunity to display their soloistic talents. The real climax, however, is to be found in the harmonic layering of the three winds which lend the themes new appeal. The message was broadcasted many times until the death of Art Blakey, but the history of jazz would have been a great deal poorer without these milestone recordings on the Impulse label. Art Blakey certainly knew how to delight his audience with fire, originality, a wealth of ideas and great humor.