The second Concord album was recorded the day after the first with the same lineup: guitarists Herb Ellis and Joe Pass, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Jake Hanna. Pass would sign with Pablo but Ellis would be a fixture on the Concord label throughout the 1970s. If anything, the guitarists' rematch was a bit stronger than their first due to material better suited for jamming including "In a Mellotone," a speedy "Seven Come Eleven," "Perdido" and "Concord Blues." Although Pass would soon be recognized as a giant, Ellis battles him to a draw on this frequently exciting bop-oriented date, which has been reissued on CD.
The very first release by the Concord label was a quartet set featuring guitarists Herb Ellis and Joe Pass, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Jake Hanna. Ellis and Pass (the latter was just beginning to be discovered) always made for a perfectly complementary team, constantly challenging each other. The boppish music (which mixes together standards with "originals" based on the blues and a standard) is quite enjoyable with the more memorable tunes including "Look for the Silver Lining," "Honeysuckle Rose," "Georgia," "Good News Blues," and "Bad News Blues." This was a strong start for what would become the definitive mainstream jazz label.
During 1974-1980, the Great Guitars (Charlie Byrd, Barney Kessel, and Herb Ellis with Byrd's rhythm section) recorded five fine albums. The group became less active in the 1980s, and a stroke ended Kessel's career. In 1996, the Great Guitars regrouped, with guests Mundell Lowe and Larry Coryell helping out. This 1998 sampler has selections from five of the six Concord albums. Strangely enough, it jumps around chronologically (the 1996 date is represented by the second, fourth, and eighth selections). Overall, there are plenty of hot selections here, including an Ellis-Kessel duet on "Down Home Blues" and heated renditions of "Lover" and "Air Mail Special." A good introduction to the band, which lived up to its name, although fans of the players will want the complete sessions (all of which are available on CD) instead.
Reissue features the latest digital remastering and the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest DSD / HR Cutting remastering. Comes with a description. Features the original LP designs. Jimmy Raney leads two separate groups on this OJC reissue CD, both recorded during the mid-'50s. The first session finds the leader experimenting with overdubbing a second guitar line over his introduction and closing during all four pieces, including the very exciting "Minor" (which is based on the chord changes to "Bernie's Tune"), "Double Image" (inspired by "There Will Never be Another You"), plus some wild improvised counterpoint between Raney and pianist Hall Overton in "On the Square" and an intricate rendition of the ballad "Some Other Spring."
Reissue features the latest digital remastering and the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest DSD / HR Cutting remastering. Comes with a description. Features the original LP designs. A great record – or half-great, as the case may be! One part of this album features Billy with his standard trio of Earl May and Percy Brice, playing mellow piano trio versions of tracks that include "Tune For Tex", "Goodbye", "Biddy's Beat", and "Eddie's Theme". Those cuts are fine, but the real strength of the album lies on the last 4 cuts – all killer Latin jazz numbers cut with a rhythm section that includes Machito, Jose Mangual, Charlie Smith, and Uba Nieto. The added conga, bongos, and timbales really make the tracks groove – and you'll find yourself coming back to "I Love To Mambo", "Mambo Azul", "Early Morning Mambo", and "Candido" more than you will the rest of the record.
Reissue with latest 2014 remastering. Comes with liner notes. The last of the pianoless quartet albums that Gerry Mulligan recorded in the 1950s is one of the best, featuring the complementary trumpet of Art Farmer, bassist Bill Crow, and drummer Dave Bailey along with the baritonist/leader. This recording is a little skimpy on playing time but makes every moment count. Virtually every selection is memorable, with "What Is There to Say," "Just in Time," "Festive Minor," "My Funny Valentine," and "Utter Chaos" being the high points. Highly recommended both to Mulligan collectors and to jazz listeners who are just discovering the great baritonist.
Reissue features the latest digital remastering and the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest DSD / HR Cutting remastering. Comes with a description. Features the original LP designs. This CD reissue has four selections apiece from two different bands, both of which feature subtle interplay and cool tones. Bob Brookmeyer plays valve trombone and piano on two songs apiece with his 1955 quartet, a group also including guitarist Jimmy Raney, bassist Teddy Kotick and drummer Mel Lewis. The other half of this disc is actually led by vibraphonist Teddy Charles who features Brookmeyer on both of his instruments along with bassist Teddy Kotick and drummer Ed Shaughnessy; Nancy Overton takes a vocal on "Nobody's Heart." Although the overall set is not all that essential, the music is pleasing and reasonably creative.
This highly successful blowing session works because of overlapping links among players and material. Bassist Teddy Kotick and drummer Nick Stabulas were frequent partners, in the groups of leader Phil Woods and others. Kotick and pianist Red Garland also had working experience with Charlie Parker, whose compositions are heard here as well as those of Woods, who then and now was one of Jazz’s leading Parkerites.
After several years of few recordings, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers re-emerged with totally new personnel on this Prestige LP. The strongest performance is a quartet feature for the great trumpeter Woody Shaw on "I Can't Get Started," but the other three selections (which include such musicians as George Cables or John Hicks on keyboards, bassist Stanley Clarke and Ramon Morris on reeds) are also worth hearing and sound surprisingly "contemporary" for the time. An interesting set.