Best stuff I have heard from this band. Almost like a cross between Black Oak Arkansas and Led Zeppelin although not nearly as heavy as either in their prime. Only a few to diverse tracks, and cool cover to boot. A buck well spent. - from rateyourmusic -
Miles once said, "All my inspiration today comes from Ahmad Jamal." These recordings are the reason why. The mid fifties was a fertile time for jazz; fresh, original ensembles were taking shape all over the country. The Modern Jazz Quartet, the Dave Brubeck Quartet, The Jazz Messengers and the Ahmad Jamal Trio immediately come to mind. Among musicians, each group had its imitators and its creative disciples who took its innovations one step further.
Tal Farlow, was an innovative self-taught jazz guitarist who influenced generations of guitarists following in his footsteps. Although some of his peak years as a recording artist occurred during his association with Verve between 1954 and 1959, relatively few of the tracks were available for decades until the release of this comprehensive Mosaic box set. The music is consistently brilliant, as the leader's solos seem to evolve effortlessly, often finding fresh ground in the many standards and classic jazz compositions performed in this set. Aside from the three opening tracks from Farlow's days as a member of vibraphonist Red Norvo's trio, the guitarist is the leader.
These sessions document unequivocally why Dizzy Gillespie is still considered one of the greatest improvisers in the history of jazz, for his mastery of the instrument, his command of time, his control over musical ideas, and his ability to entertain. He was blessed during this period, which spans 1954 to 1963, with stellar sidemen, unparalleled arrangements, and a surge of excitement for making music.
This attractive limited-edition six-CD set features all of the studio small-group sides done by Armstrong in the 1950s for Decca. The first disc in particular is quite rewarding for it contains a full program by his 1950 sextet with trombonist Jack Teagarden, clarinetist Barney Bigard, and pianist Earl Hines. While the second disc has a variety of odds and ends (including the first version of "A Kiss to Build a Dream On" and two vocal duets with Gary Crosby), most of the final four CDs are from an ambitious project (originally titled "A Musical Autobiography") in which the great trumpeter/vocalist revisited many of the songs that he had recorded in the 1920s and '30s; some of the newer versions are actually better than the earlier ones.
That sound. One group conceived it. Defined it. Perfected it. The Modern Jazz Quartet was certainly one of the most distinctive voices in the history of jazz, thanks to the unique qualities of personal expression and collective vision of its members Milt Jackson, John Lewis, Percy Heath and Connie Kay (who had replaced original drummer Kenny Clarke by the time the band started recording this music). They were also exceptionally prolific during their tenure at Atlantic Records, producing 14 albums in eight years. And now, that MJQ sound gets the complete respect it deserves, thanks to our new box, The Complete 1956-1964 Modern Jazz Quartet Atlantic Studio Recordings.
Johnny Smith is an exquisite jazz guitarist known mostly to fellow musicians and serious jazz fans. This beautifully packaged and expertly annotated eight-CD limited-edition boxed set from Mosaic includes his complete small-group recordings for Roost, most of which have languished out of print for decades. Smith's unique voicings on his instrument set him apart from other players, yet he maintains a lush, crystal-clear tone no matter the tempo or setting.
Still riding the success of his triumphant concert at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival, Duke Ellington in 1958 decided to reduce his touring orchestra to a nonet dubbed "the Spacemen" in 1958, and recorded this lone project with them for the Columbia label. Perhaps inspired by the first orbiting satellites, Ellington is not taking cues from George Russell or Sun Ra, whose extraterrestrial inspirations led them down even more progressive paths.
Some of Count Basie's finest recordings were cut for the Roulette label during 1957-1962, and all of his studio performances are included on this massive Mosaic ten-CD boxed set. Among the classic former LPs that are reissued here are The Atomic Mr. Basie, Basie Plays Hefti, Chairman of the Board, Everyday I Have the Blues, and Kansas City Suite. With such soloists as trumpeters Thad Jones and Joe Newman, the tenors of Frank Foster and Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Frank Wess on alto and flute, vocals by Joe Williams, and the timeless arrangements of Neal Hefti, Thad Jones, Frank Foster, Ernie Wilkins, and Frank Wess among others, this essential (but unfortunately limited-edition) set features the second Count Basie Orchestra at its very best.