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.
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.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Austin's one and only album as leader. If you like crooners, then he can croon with best. The only album we've ever seen from vocalist Austin Cromer – a deep-voiced jazz singer with a style that's somewhere in the best space between Billy Eckstine and Arthur Prysock! Cromer's a lot more relaxed and less posturing than either of those bigger names – and he's got a great setting here, with small combo backing from a group that features Hubert Laws on flute, Chick Corea on piano, Richard Davis on bass, and Bruno Carr on drums! The set's a jazz one at heart, but has some soulful undercurrents too.
Reissue with the latest 2014 DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. I first became aware of Louis Van Dyke on the "Fond Memories of Frank Rosolino" CD and it became apparent that here was a creative mind with impeccable jazz abilities who was able to play into the sound of whatever environment he chose. This recording could be by a very different musician than heard on the Rosolino album as Van Dyke is able to switch hats and maintain the integrity of whichever he is wearing at the time. What we have here is unusual to say the least: 9 songs by the Beatles performed in 1970 on the Flentrop Organ in the Netherlands Reformed Chuch at Loenen a.d. Vecht.
This was one of the great touring and recording bands of the 1980s, Harrell and Woods inspiring each other and the rhythm section inquiring and swinging. Woods didn't need to change anything about his own style, but it blossoms anew in counterpoint with Harrell's lyrical fire, and each album is handsomely programmed and delivered … Flash, the final album with Harrell (who has since been replaced by Hal Crook as the front-line horn), has the edge of some outstanding composing by the trumpeter – "Weaver" and "Rado" are particularly sound vehicles – and Crook's extra tones on a few tracks.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. The group's name is a bit of wordplay, and might make you think they're presenting themselves in a flip sort of way – but their music is rock-solid, and has this well-crafted, rock-solid approach that's mighty nice! Intrioduction have that open, flowing sensibility that the better European piano groups started to pick up towards the end of the 70s – a tradition that really seemed to flower in France during the 80s and 90s, but which also has a great proponent here – as the piano of Harry Happel opens up in these waves of lyrical lines that often have a lot of power, but a gentler sort of heart as well. Daan Gaillard is on bass and Fred Krens plays drums – and both players make themselves known throughout, but sometimes in nicely subtle ways.
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and 24 bit remastering. Featuring the work of obscure composer/pianist Todd Cochrane, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson's 1971 album Head On is a highly cerebral and atmospheric affair that is somewhat different than his other equally experimental '70s work. Although the album does feature more of the avant-garde jazz that Hutcherson was exploring during this period, Cochrane's material is heavily influenced by contemporary classical music, and accordingly Head On is more of an exercise in reflective, layered jazz than rambunctious freebop – though it does offer some of that, too.