Simply put, this is a very decent four-disc collection of the work of guitarist Grant Green. It features tracks from his many albums as a leader and some as a sideman with others, such as Lee Morgan, John Patton, Baby Face Willette, and Sonny Clark. His early-'60s sides are here along with most of his defining cuts from the '60s, from hard bop to soul-jazz to ballads to gospel – everything most fans would ever want is here, including his late blues sides recorded in the bars of Detroit in 1970. While Green's own albums can never be replaced, this is a solid portrait of one of the most influential jazz guitarists in history.
As a trio, this edition of guitarist Grant Green's many ensembles has to rank with the best he had ever fronted. Recorded on April Fool's Day of 1961, the band and music are no joke, as bassist Ben Tucker and drummer Dave Bailey understand in the most innate sense how to support Green, lay back when needed, or strut their own stuff when called upon. Still emerging as an individualist, Green takes further steps ahead, without a pianist, saxophonist, or – most importantly – an organist. His willpower drives this music forward in a refined approach that definitely marks him as a distinctive, immediately recognizable player.
As a trio, this edition of guitarist Grant Green's many ensembles has to rank with the best he had ever fronted. Recorded on April Fool's Day of 1961, the band and music are no joke, as bassist Ben Tucker and drummer Dave Bailey understand in the most innate sense how to support Green, lay back when needed, or strut their own stuff when called upon. Still emerging as an individualist, Green takes further steps ahead, without a pianist, saxophonist, or – most importantly – an organist.
Neil Diamond's five-decade career as a singer, songwriter, and performer has certainly been a successful one by any standard. He’s sold well over 115 million records worldwide to date and has had eight number one singles ("Cracklin Rosie," "Song Sung Blue," "Desiree," "You Don't Bring Me Flowers," "Love on the Rocks," "America," "Yesterday's Songs," and "Heartlight"), and if he hasn't always generated the kind of critical respect he probably deserves, he’s been a steady and dependable artist who has managed to keep his large core audience happy. This 23-track set surveys the whole of Diamond's recording career, collecting his key and signature sides, beginning with his first hits for Bang Records in the mid-'60s through his commercial peak for Uni/MCA between 1968 and 1972, cuts from 1980’s The Jazz Singer (a soundtrack album that went platinum five times over on Capitol Records), and ending with tracks from Diamond's two Rick Rubin-produced albums, 2005’s 12 Songs and 2008’s Home Before Dark, on Columbia Records.
The success of "The Crying Game" marked a comeback for Boy George, especially in the U.S., where his solo career had never taken hold beyond the dance clubs, and SBK (distributor of his label, Virgin) took advantage of his resurgence by compiling this 75-minute, 19-track album, which combines his former group Culture Club's biggest hits with selections from his solo work. The ten Culture Club tracks are of a piece, from 1982's "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" (which here leads off with an ominous voice intoning, "Popularity breeds contempt") to "Love Is Love," which wasn't a hit but is a better choice than the missing "War Song," which was. The solo tracks are a more mixed batch, and not only because Top 40 U.K. hits like "Keep Me in Mind," "Sold," and "To Be Reborn" are missing. They often rely on loud percussion tracks that strand Boy George's tender tenor somewhere in the distance. He remains most effective on rhythmic ballads, whether "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me," "Everything I Own" (his chart-topping first U.K. solo hit), or "The Crying Game".
This great Jazz two-fer features two of guitarist Grant Green's '60s work trio and quartet featuring incredible organ work from Sam Lazar and Big John Patton. This release contains the complete albums Space Flight (1960) and Iron City (1967). The question "When is a Grant Green album not a Grant Green album?" is answered by this release, with the reply, when "It's actually Grant Green as a sidesman on two album released by other artists". In this case "Space Flight" released as an album credited to Sam Lazar, and secondly one recorded as "Iron City" by Big John Patton. "Space Flight" is the quartet album which also has Willie Dixon on bass and Chauncey Williams on drums. The album doesn't give very much prominence to Green, though he does make some telling additions to several of the tracks. About Lazar I know practically nothing other than that I ordered an album I thought Argo were going to release way back when (probably 1961),which never arrived, and this one was recorded in June 1960. The release shows no sign of remastering, but as I'd never heard it before that's a guess!