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 the latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. A brilliant large ensemble work from Ornette Coleman – ambitious material recorded with full orchestra, in a haunting sound that's light years from any of his smaller group recordings of the 60s and 70s! There's an incredible feel to the strings used here – played by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Measham – all tied up and dark, with swirling sounds that run up beautifully from the bottom, then take off to the skies promised in the title – opening the door for Ornette to come in and solo freely over the top – in a magical mix that easily makes the record a standout in his long and mighty career!
Reissue with DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. Here we have the free-floating, abstract beginnings of Weather Report, which would define the state of the electronic jazz/rock art from its first note almost to its last. Their first album is a direct extension of the Miles Davis In a Silent Way/Bitches Brew period, more fluid in sound and more volatile in interplay. Joe Zawinul ruminates in a delicate, liquid manner on Rhodes electric piano; at this early stage, he used a ring modulator to create weird synthesizer-like effects.
A beautiful album of spiritual soul and Brazilian influenced jazz from Azar Lawrence – and a pretty rare one we're thrilled to have! Lawrence is a stellar sax player with a sound that's a bit like Gary Bartz, which means that he fits in perfectly with the Fantasy-era Prestige Records sound – but the sounds on this set are uncommonly rich and globally influenced. The set's predominantly acoustic, with lots of modal grooves in kind of a Strata East vein – and angular post-Coltrane playing that's very similar to Bartz's work on the Libra album from his early days. Players include Raul De Souza on trombone, Ron Carter on bass, Billy Hart on drums, Dom Salvador, who is really allowed to shine on piano on a few tracks, and drummer & percussionist Guilherme Franco, who brings a world of wonderful percussion on a couple of numbers.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. A beautiful big band set from the great Art Blakey – but one that's got all the sharp focus of his small group sides by the Jazz Messengers! The lineup here is a great one – that very vibrant early 80s version of Blakey's group with Bobby Watson on alto sax, Bill Pierce on tenor, and James Williams on piano – augmented by Kevin Eubanks on guitar, Valerie Ponomarev on trumpet, and the Marsalis brothers rounding out the set with some extra horn work! The sound is strong and proud, and handled by Blakey with a tightness that's similar to his smaller group work of the time – but with a power that's simply incredible – especially when Watson's presence is made known on his tunes "Wheel Within A Wheel", "Linwood", and "Bit A Bittadose". Also features a take on Williams' "Minor Thesis".