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 DSD / HR Cutting remastering and the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player). 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. Hard-hitting trio work from Ray – one of his early albums for Columbia, and the record that gave him a surprisingly big hit! "Little Susie" is one of those early 60s soul jazz standards, the kind of catchy tune that got played all over the place on radio, and which forever put the artist at the top of the list for recording dates and live sets for a few years. Ray's riding high here – with a trio that features brother Tommy Bryant on bass, and either Eddie Locke or Gus Johnson on drums – and the album's got lots of other short tracks with a similar down-home soul jazz kind of approach. Titles include "Blues For Norrie", "Big Buddy", "Greensleeves", and "If I Can Just Make It".
Reissue with latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. The first full album from the great Ray Bryant – recorded shortly after his famous Epic Records session with Betty Carter! The album's got Ray grooving in a hard early soul jazz mode – working in a trio with either Kenny Clarke or Osie Johnson on drums, and Wyatt Reuther on bass – at a level that still shows some influence from other pianists, but already with that unique hard-left style that would make Bryant a big favorite in short years to come. Candido joins in on congas on 2 of the album's best tracks – a hard grooving take on "Night In Tunisia", plus Ray's classic "Cubano Chant", a dancing Latin groover that went onto become an oft-recorded Latin Jazz standard – and other titles include "Pawn Ticket", "Philadelphia Bound", and "Off Shore".
Reissue features the latest DSD / HR Cutting remastering and the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player). Comes with a description. Features the original LP designs. For this early hard bop date, altoist Phil Woods and trumpeter Donald Byrd were co-leaders. In fact, the music had at one point earlier on been released with Byrd getting first billing. Since the spirited altoist contributed four of the six tunes (including "House of Chan" and "In Walked George") and consistently takes solo honors, it is only right that the date finally appeared under Woods' name. With pianist Al Haig (who did not record that extensively during this period), bassist Teddy Kotick, and drummer Charlie Persip offering stimulating accompaniment, this is an easily recommended release (despite its brief LP length) for straight-ahead jazz collectors.
Reissue with latest DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. Herbie Hancock's lackluster string of electric albums around this period was enhanced by this one shining exception: an incorrigibly eclectic record that flits freely all over the spectrum. Using several different rhythm sections, Herbie Hancock is much more the imaginative hands-on player than at any time since the prime Headhunters period, overdubbing lots of parts from his ever-growing collection of keyboards. He has regained a good deal of his ability to ride in the groove.