Being familiar with some of his work (basically the hit songs) I had no idea of the legacy this brilliant man has left behind. To my complete surprise this (ridiculously low priced) box set opened a new musical world before my ears and from the very first listening I have felt madly and hopelessly in love with Serge Gainsbourg's music. The quality of these recordings is matched by the quality of sound. The remastering is top notch and superior to most digital transfers heard today. I only wish this incredible set had been released on vinyl as well.
Trumpeter Maynard Ferguson led his greatest big band during the years that he was signed to Roulette and all of the music from his 13 Roulette LPs (plus 11 previously unissued selections) are included on this deluxe limited-edition ten-CD box set. Although three of the LPs were originally recorded as dance records (and stick close to the melodies), this box as a whole finds Maynard at his peak and with an orchestra that includes such talented soloists as trombonists Slide Hampton and Don Sebesky (both of whom contributed arrangements), altoist Lanny Morgan, the tenors of Carmen Leggio, Willie Maiden, Joe Farrell, and Don Menza, pianists Jaki Byard and Joe Zawinul, and drummer Rufus Jones in addition to the leader. The music is very jazz-oriented and contains more than its share of classic moments, particularly the sessions that resulted in A Message From Newport and Newport Suite. It's highly recommended.
Bear Family, the venerable German label that does reissue boxes of U.S. artists better than any American label – with the possible exception of Mosaic – has taken the cream of Kitty Wells' career and issued one of the most historically important collections in the history of country music. The Queen of Country Music is a four-CD box, with exhaustive biographical and session notes by Charles Wolfe that document, in their entirety, nine years of Ms. Wells career, from its inception through to its turning point and superstardom, the years 1949 to 1958; there are 114 tracks in all. Along with every major hit and B-side from the eras, the set includes classic original versions of "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels," "Hey Joe!," "I Hear the Jukebox Playing," "Lonely Side of Town," "Making Believe," "Dust on the Bible," "The Place That Kills," "Right or Wrong," "Just When I Needed You," "The Great Speckled Bird," "Jealousy," and many others.
Big Brass is an appropiate name for the large ensemble arranged and conducted by Ernie Wilkins that accompanies the huge sound of Sonny Rollins. The energy within the leader's gospel-flavored shout "Grand Street" is considerable, while a swinging but no less powerful version of George & Ira Gershwin's "Who Cares" features a choice solo by guitarist Rene Thomas. Also added to this compilation are trio recordings with bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Specs Wright, including a brilliant leisurely stroll through "Manhattan," along with Rollins' tour de force unaccompanied tenor sax on "Body and Soul."
The Man in Black: 1954-1958 is a five-disc box set that includes everything Johnny Cash recorded for Sun Records, plus the fruits of his first year with Columbia Records. In addition to all of the classic singles – from "Hey Porter" to "Don't Take Your Guns to Town," they're all here – there is a wealth of unreleased material and alternate takes, including a disc that captures an entire recording session from his early days with Columbia…