Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music
On this extensive triple-LP set, the key to sorting out the wheat from the chaff is song length. The longer the song, the better it is. And I will not beat about the bush: the title song is one of the best epics ever written. Not the most original, but certainly the most beautiful.
The attractive thing about this set is how THE FLOWER KINGS gradually introduce the themes that eventually come together in the final track. Such a presaging is very much in the symphonic tradition. I love listening to a record where themes are introduced, varied and reprised; it never fails to please. This is such a record, if you’re patient.
For his third lushly photographed martial-arts film, CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER, Zhang Yimou once again collaborated with Japanese composer Shigeru Umebayashi, who created the music for the Chinese director's lauded HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS. Umebayashi's orchestral pieces fittingly echo the sweeping drama and stunning visuals of the movie, as best revealed in the Wagnerian "Rebellion" and the percussive "Heroic Battle".
Features 24 bit digital remastering. Comes with a description. Originally released on Atlantic in 1957, the short-lived bop quintet les Jazz Modes performed excerpts from Frank Loesser's third Broadway musical The Most Happy Fella. This tasteful date features Julius Watkins on French horn (and pre-Thelonious Monk) and tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, accompanied by pianist Gildo Mahones, bassist, Martin Rivera, drummer Ron Jefferson, and, for this date only, vocalist Eileen Gilbert was added on "My Heart Is So Full of You."
Features 24 bit digital remastering. Comes with a description. A firey stormer from the great Slide Hampton! The album's one of his few early sides for Atlantic – and like the others, it's a groundbreaking batch of larger group material, with slide out front on trombone, and the rest of the ensemble vamping along like a tight Blue Note combo. Players are excellent – and include George Coleman on tenor, Horace Parlan on piano, Hobart Dotson on trumpet, and Ray Barretto on drums – and Slide makes them come together so tightly, you'd think they were working together every night of the week! Titles include "The Barbarians", "Strollin", "The Jazz Twist", "Red Top", "Slide Slid", and "Day In Day Out".
A great album recorded in 1963 for Atlantic – one of our favorite ever! Jack Wilson's one of our favorite piano players, and we rave about him all the time on these pages – and one of the reasons why we love him so much is that he was often accompanied by Roy Ayers, who started out his career playing vibes in his group! The pair together are a dream, and this album is arguably their best effort – filled with moody modal cuts, and lots of lyrical interplay that hits these beautiful high points, then dives into pits of darkness. Titles include "Harbor Freeway", "De Critifeux", "Corcovado", "Jackleg", and "Nirvana & Dana".
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Somethin' Sanctified is an album by American jazz trombonist, composer and arranger Slide Hampton which was released on the Atlantic label in 1961. In 1959, trombonist Slide Hampton was known mainly for the excellent arrangements he did for the Maynard Ferguson Band, so it was no surprise that he formed his octet band and began making a serious bid for recognition as a top jazz artist and arranger, recording his first album for the small label Strand. His impact was immediate and in 1960 Slide signed for Atlantic resulting in two studio albums, Sister Salvation and Somethin Sanctified, which were the octets first for the label.