Basically, what you see is what you get: all of the recordings Stan Getz did for the Norgran and Clef between December of 1952 and January of 1955. Most of this material has been issued several times – at least – by numerous labels legally and illegally. What makes the Hip-O Select set the definitive issue is, besides proper licensing, that all of these cuts, the 10" albums – Stan Getz Plays, The Artistry of Stan Getz, all three Interpretations volumes, and Stan Getz & the Cool Sounds – along with all the single and EP releases for a total of 45 sides – three of them previously unreleased – and a pair of studio cuts that appeared on the otherwise live Stan Getz at the Shrine appear in chronological order.
This double LP was the first jazz concert ever recorded at the Hollywood Bowl (and only the second one held at that L.A. institution). Although not an official Jazz at the Philharmonic concert, it has the same basic format and was also produced by Norman Granz. Trumpeters Roy Eldridge and Harry "Sweets" Edison, tenors Flip Phillips and Illinois Jacquet, the Oscar Peterson Trio and drummer Buddy Rich all jam on "Honeysuckle Rose" and "Jumpin' at the Woodside" and there is also a ballad medley and a drum solo by Rich. In addition the Oscar Peterson Trio plays two numbers, the remarkable pianist Art Tatum (in one of his final appearances) has four, Ella Fitzgerald sings six songs (including a scat-filled "Airmail Special") and collaborates with Louis Armstrong on two others. For the grand finale nearly everyone returns to the stage for "When the Saints Go Marching In" which Armstrong sings and largely narrates, cheerfully introducing all of the participants. This is a historic and very enjoyable release featuring more than its share of classic greats.
Hip-O Select's 2004 compilation Get It While You Can: The Complete Legendary Verve Sessions is not the first time Howard Tate's revered sessions for Verve have reached CD. About ten years earlier, in the summer of 1995, Mercury released the almost identically titled Get It While You Can: The Legendary Verve Sessions, which contained all of Tate's 1966 debut – also titled Get It While You Can – along with five bonus tracks, for a total of 17 cuts.
All eight of the albums Wes Montgomery issued on Verve in the mid-'60s (including the two he did with organist Jimmy Smith) are on this limited-edition, five-CD box set. With the addition of 20 bonus tracks (none previously unreleased, some of them alternate takes or overdubbed versions) and a 76-page booklet that includes readable reproductions of the original LP sleeves, it's the definitive compilation of his work for the label. By its very size, of course, its appeal might be limited to completists and serious collectors.
Following an unsatisfying three-year stint at Mercury Records, Chuck Berry returned home to Chess in 1969, just like Phil Chess predicted. Heading home didn’t necessarily mean retreating, as the four-disc Have Mercy: His Complete Chess Recordings 1969-1974 illustrates. During his time at Mercury, Chuck followed the kids wherever they went, aligning himself with the psychedelic ‘60s in a way none of his peers did. This shift is immediately apparent on “Tulane,” the very first song he cut upon his return to Chess. An ode to a couple of kids who dealt dope underneath the counter of a novelty shop, “Tulane” puts Chuck on the side of the counterculture, and over the next five years, he never strayed back to the other side of the fence, often singing about getting stoned, dabbling with a wah-wah pedal, rhapsodizing about rock festivals, cheerfully telling smutty jokes.
Gary Puckett & the Union Gap were originally an actual band, but by the time the musicians entered the recording studio with producer and songwriter Jerry Fuller, the focus fell on Puckett's strong, smooth baritone voice, and the Union Gap part of the equation was buried under a MOR barrage of strings, horns, and choirs. The formula worked, however, and the group enjoyed five Top 40 hits between 1967 and 1969.
While pianist-arranger-composer Toshiko Akiyoshi headed a fine big band in New York after moving cross-country in 1982, the orchestra that she led in Los Angeles in the 1970s was arguably her greatest accomplishment. The three-CD Mosaic Select set Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band collects all of the music originally released on the RCA albums Kogun, Long Yellow Road, Tales of a Courtesan, Insights, and March of the Tadpoles. With such major players as Akiyoshi’s husband Lew Tabackin on tenor and flute, trumpeters Bobby Shew and Don Rader, trombonist Britt Woodman and altoist Gary Foster among the many soloists in the all-star band, the orchestra could swing as hard as any of its competitors. In addition to the more boppish pieces, Akiyoshi often wrote works that displayed her Japanese heritage, utilizing Eastern harmonies and instruments along with her husband’s flute. Many of the highpoints of her career are on this perfectly conceived Mosaic release.