Special Feature / Bonus Track: 2 bonus tracks. After years of staying free of comparisons with Charlie Parker, Sonny Stitt steps confidently into a set of compositions by the late, great one – sounding really wonderful in his own interpretations of these classics! The album's got the same simple and focused still as Stitt's best work on Roost – and although the compositions are all by Bird, the overall sound is still very much Sonny's own – especially given the wonderful sense of space and timing brought to some of the performances! The group's an unusual one, especially for Stitt – and features John Lewis on piano, Jim Hall on guitar, Richard Davis on bass, and Connie Kay on drums – all offering a slightly more modern take on Bird than might be expected – especially through the angular lines on Hall's guitar.
Although Chet Baker's recordings from late in his life varied dramatically in quality, this series of studio sessions is a high point in his career. After having his trumpet stolen, he plays beautifully with a borrowed flügelhorn throughout most of these songs with a powerful tone, especially on "Baby Breeze" and Hal Galper's intense "This Is the Thing." Baker delivers some strong vocals on the session led by pianist Bobby Scott, though Scott's huge hit "A Taste of Honey" is marred somewhat by his odd honky tonk piano in the background.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. After bassist/composer Charles Mingus' death on January 5, 1979, a reunion band featuring some of his former sidemen called Mingus Dynasty was formed. Cut just six months after the bassist's demise, this album was the first Mingus Dynasty recording, and it has its moments. Such alumni as altoist John Handy, trombonist Jimmy Knepper, trumpeter Jimmy Owens, and tenorman Joe Farrell meet up with two members of Mingus' last major band (pianist Don Pullen and drummer Dannie Richmond), plus bassist Charlie Haden, who ably fills in for the late bandleader.
4CD Set, 32 page booklet. Digitally Remastered 24-Bit / 96 kHz. In 1950, after a year on tour with Dizzy Gillespies band, Yusef Lateef returned to Detroit, the city where he had grown up as a jazz musician. With his powerfully preaching tenor sax tone and fluent, driving style he established himself as an influential presence in the Motor City scene, forming his own quintet in 1955. He made his first recordings as a leader in 1957, a productive year for him, as this gripping 4-CD set reveals.
Room's 1970 Preflight is a near-masterpiece of blues-influenced prog-rock with forays into jazz territories. Well-structured and punctuated by interesting time changes and a skillful use of wind and string instruments, they are definitely at least on par with label mates Leaf Hound and Mellow Candle. The guitar playing of Chris Williams and the remarkable vocal timbre of the singer also places the album a cut above many in the genre.