1990s Puzzle of Hearts is an album surprisingly similar to both Djavan and Oceano (both released in 1989), all of which are on Columbia Records, no less. In fact, no less than seven of the nine tracks on Djavan and Oceano (which are essentially the same album) make up the bulk of Puzzle of Hearts. The new tracks here are the title track, a soft sort of MPB in English, "Being Cool," another English number with a bouncier samba-based rhythm to it, and "Amazon Farewell," one more English work with a thumping bassline underneath a more exotic melody. While the album isn't necessarily particularly original when compared to the items released only a year prior, it's a nice piece of work.
In 2002, Ace released Big Joe Louis & His Blues Kings/The Stars in the Sky, which contained two albums – Big Joe Louis & His Blues Kings (1989, originally released on Blue Horizon) and The Stars in the Sky (1992, originally on Tramp) – by Big Joe Louis & His Blues Kings on one compact disc.
This CD, which adds "Drum Conversation" (a Frank Butler feature) to the earlier LP, contains material taken from bassist Curtis Counce's Contemporary sessions which resulted in three other albums but these particular performances were not released until 1989. Half of the program features Counce's 1956 quintet (which includes trumpeter Jack Sheldon, tenor saxophonist Harold Land, pianist Carl Perkins and drummer Frank Butler) while the remainding selections are from 1958 when the group had Gerald Wilson on trumpet and pianist Elmo Hope (who contributed three originals). "Sonor" and "Landslide" are heard in alternate versions and "Woody'n You" has also been since reissued as a "bonus" cut on the CD You Get More Bounce with Curtis Counce. The playing is quite rewarding, and all four of the Counce reissues are easily recommended to hard bop collectors.