It was, at the time, one of the highest-grossing rock tours ever, grossing over 11 million dollars in an era when such figures were uncommon. Such success camouflaged the chaos behind the scenes – the bitter fights and feuds, the excess and indulgence that led to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young pocketing about a half million dollars each, when all was said and done. Big bucks were the reason the CSNY 1974 tour even existed. Efforts to record a new album in 1973, their first since 1970's breakthrough Déjà Vu, collapsed but manager Elliot Roberts and promoter Bill Graham convinced the group to stage the first outdoor stadium tour in the summer of 1974, with the idea that CSNY would test-drive new material in concert, then record a new studio album in the fall, or maybe release a live record from the historic tour. Neither happened.
Simon & Garfunkel reunited on September 19, 1981, to perform a free concert in Central Park, New York City. This two-record set presents some of the duo's biggest hits in a live context, and also allows listeners a chance to hear what many Simon solo numbers could sound like in S&G mode. [The Concert in Central Park was re-released as a 40-track CD/DVD set in 2015.]
A lost treasure from the legendary Thelonious Monk – a live date recorded in Paris at the end of the 60s – late in Monk's life, and every bit as wonderful as his famous 60s studio work with his quartet! Of that group, only Charlie Rouse remains on tenor sax – but Rouse is more than enough to make things great, and the interplay between his tenor and Monk's piano is completely sublime – full of angular movements, underscored with plenty of soul – and given support from Nate Hygelund on bass and either Paris Wright or Philly Joe Jones on drums. There's a rough edge to the music that's really great – that sharper, more sinister vibe that Monk could have in a live setting – and titles include "Light Blue", "Bright Mississippi", "I Mean You", "Ruby My Dear", "I Love You Sweetheart Of All My Dreams", "Crepuscule With Nellie", and "Nutty". Special package comes with a bonus DVD of the performance!
The studio sessions within this CD were produced by Charles Delauney in Paris during the late '30s, when a number of prominent Americans were either passing through or temporarily taking up residence in Europe. Django Reinhardt was a relative newcomer to jazz, but quickly became a leading player on the continent, and is present on four very different sessions in this collection. A quartet led by cornetist Rex Stewart includes fellow Ellington veterans Barney Bigard on clarinet and bassist Billy Taylor, though the Americans and their gypsy guitarist eschew the Ellington songbook and find their own sound in a date dominated by originals written by Stewart or Taylor. Reinhardt is prominently featured as a soloist and proves himself in ensembles as well as backing others' solos.