This pair of 1963 studio sessions by Grant Green remained under wraps until issued as a part of Blue Note's limited edition Jazz Connoisseur series. The guitarist is in fine form, accompanied by organist John Patton and drummer Ben Dixon, starting with a brilliant bop rendition of the popular standard from the Broadway show Oklahoma!, "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top." The soft but intense "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying," and Ray Charles' gospel flavored "This Little Girl of Mine" (an obvious reworking of "This Little Light of Mine") are also highlights.
In the jazz world, Vienna is about as far from New York's Lincoln Center as you can get. It follows that Mathias Rüegg's Vienna Art Orchestra has about as much in common with Wynton Marsalis' Lincoln Center big band as a Sacher torte has with a Hostess Cup Cake; while they share some ingredients, the Austrian product satisfies on a more profound level. By the turn of the century, the Lincoln Center paradigm defined the jazz big band as a finished concept – locked into the past, serving mostly as a repertory ensemble.
Gary Moore's tribute to Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green, Blues for Greeny, is more of a showcase for Moore's skills than Green's songwriting. After all, Green was more famous for his technique than his writing…
It's not as if Albert King hadn't tasted success in his first decade and a half as a performer, but his late-'60s/early-'70s recordings for Stax did win him a substantially larger audience. During those years, the label began earning significant clout amongst rock fans through events like Otis Redding's appearance at the Monterey International Pop Festival and a seemingly endless string of classic singles. When King signed to the label in 1966, he was immediately paired with the Stax session team Booker T. & the MG's. The results were impressive: "Crosscut Saw," "Laundromat Blues," and the singles collection Born Under a Bad Sign were all hits. Though 1972's I'll Play the Blues for You followed a slightly different formula, the combination of King, members of the legendary Bar-Kays, the Isaac Hayes Movement, and the sparkling Memphis Horns was hardly a risky endeavor. The result was a trim, funk-infused blues sound that provided ample space for King's oft-imitated guitar playing.