The centennial of Ben Webster's birth occurred in 2009 and producer Nick Phillips mined the vaults of various Concord-owned labels, including Pablo, Riverside, Contemporary, and Prestige/Swingville, to create this compilation featuring the late tenor saxophonist. One of the three giants of his instrument during the 1930s and 1940s (along with Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young), Webster was still very much at the top of his game when these sessions were recorded. When he took part in the series of small-group dates with Art Tatum, he refused to be intimidated by the pianist's intricate flourishes, simply delivering majestic solos in "My One and Only Love," "All the Things You Are," and "Have You Met Miss Jones." He's very comfortable with old friends Benny Carter and Barney Bigard in an easygoing setting of Carter's "Lula." The two live tracks, "Caravan" and "Georgia on My Mind" taken from At the Renaissance, also find Webster in an inspired mood, supported by a rhythm section including pianist Jimmy Rowles and guitarist Jim Hall.
The greatest songs of Michel Fugain revisited by: Kids United, Patrick Fiori, Slimane, Olivier Dion, Damien Sargue, Victoria, Claudio Capéo, Ben Loncle Soul, Anaïs Delva, Sophie Tapie, Arcadian, Corneille, Florent Mothe, Chimène Badi, Mickael Dos Santos. To celebrate Michel Fugain's 50-year career, the inevitable artists of the new generation celebrate an artist who has passionately sung youth, and even embodied his impetus, his madness, his vitality, his candor. Before "Chante la vie sante" was built, it was a long time since many of Michel Fugain's songs had changed from voice to voice.
"With the title track, Ben Sidran delivers one of the most insightful songs in a career full of them; in it, he rearranges the paradigm to suggest how we might buck up against situations that seem hopeless. His timing couldn't be better. His stylistic mentor, the late Mose Allison, would be proud." - Neil Tesser, Grammy winning author and Host of the syndicated program 'Jazz With Neil Tesser'. PICTURE HIM HAPPY is a response to the saying that our music is made by and for people who have chosen to feel good in spite of conditions: you often can’t affect what happens but you can determine how you respond to it. It’s a record that’s right on time.
When jazz vocalist Freddy Cole sings, it's with a built-in groove that's unshakeable, with warm, honeyed tones that wrap the lyrics in velvet and set them down firmly in the pocket. Cole has one great little album here; if you thought it was impossible to produce a modern-day jazz vocal album that's not infused with endless oodles-of-noodles riffing that shows you nothing except the ability of the vocalist to sing everything but the melody, be prepared for greatness. With a small combo led by pianist Cedar Walton and tenor saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr., Cole has a backdrop that never gets in the way of his magic nor does anything that doesn't help the song. Timber-wise, he owes a lot of his phrasing to his older brother, Nat "King" Cole, and Francis Albert Sinatra, but Freddy ultimately remains his own man and that's what makes this album such a success. Ten or 12 stars, at least.
In the 1950s, tenor-saxophonist Ben Webster was at the peak of his powers. His musical personality really featured two separate emotions: harsh and tough on the faster pieces and surprisingly warm and tender on the ballads. Webster uses the latter voice throughout this two-LP set. On all but four of 20 selections, Ben is backed by a string section arranged by Ralph Burns (except for "Chelsea Bridge" which was arranged by Billy Strayhorn) and, although clarinetists Tony Scott and Jimmy Hamilton and pianists Teddy Wilson and Hank Jones are heard from, the focus is otherwise entirely on the great tenor. The final four numbers, which matches Webster with Wilson in a stringless quartet, also stick to ballads. Music that is both beautiful and creative.