Guitarist Lenny Breau's short life (1941-1984) is a movie waiting to be made. Before his still unsolved murder, he was able to bring a new voice to the guitar by adapting country fingerpicking technique to the intricacies of modern jazz. A Breau hallmark was his highly developed ability to play bass, chords and single notes concurrently - in effect having a trio in his right hand. The newly re-released Complete Living Room Tapes, with clarinetist Brad Terry, is a 2-CD close look at Breau in peak form, circa 1979. It contains four new bonus tracks and presents a comprehensive picture of his influences and virtuosity.
There are almost more Petula Clark collections than there were actual songs (that's saying something), and Sanctuary's three-disc Songs of My Life: The Essential Petula Clark is one of the better ones. Split into three themes, "Swinging Times," "Mellow Moods," and "Beautiful Sounds," Songs of My Life relies heavily on the English pop sensation's peak '60s and '70s output. All of the key radio hits are here ("Downtown," "I Know a Place," "My Love," "This Is My Song"), as well as countless ballads, uptempo pop gems, and choice covers. Fans looking for a decent career overview (sadly, none of Clark's vast arsenal of French hits are here) may find the 78 tracks that populate Songs of My Life a bit overwhelming, but they're well worth spending some quality time alone with.
Legendary American singer and pianist Leon Russell has entertained the world for five decades, getting his start as an in-demand Wrecking Crew session player and playing on hundreds of hit records before he began releasing his own albums in 1967. Leon Russell's latest studio album, titled Life Journey, will be released on April 1, 2014. This 12-track album features newly-written, original songs and Russell's turns on classics that resonate with the two-time GRAMMY® winner as important to his musical trajectory. The album is produced by Tommy LiPuma and executive produced by Elton John, with whom Russell most recently collaborated for 2010's critically acclaimed album, The Union.
An incredible tribute to German pianist Jutta Hipp – one of the few female players in the postwar European jazz scene, and one of the few who managed to make a splash on this side of the Atlantic too! Jutta's best known to American audiences for a handful of records she cut for Blue Note – and this set takes those records, and moves way way past them – to including a huge range of material that really opens up our understanding of Hipp's music in her all-too-short career! The CDs feature early German recordings – in a number of sessions with small groups that include a quintet with Emil Mangelsdorff on alto and Joki Freeund on tenor, a number of performances in the New Jazz Stars group of tenorist Hans Koller, work in a quintet with Attila Zoller on guitar, another sextet with Albert Mangelsdorff on trombone, and a group co-led with baritone saxoponist Lars Gullin.