During a five-year period the Master Jazz label recorded 11 swing-based pianists in solo settings. Although the label went under later in the decade, the recordings were treasured by collectors. Mosaic, on this four-CD set, brought back all of the music from the original five-volume Master Jazz Piano series, adding two unissued selections and a full album released separately of Ram Ramirez's playing. In addition to Ramirez (who is heard on 13 numbers), there are 13 performances by Earl Hines, four apiece from Claude Hopkins, Cliff Jackson, Keith Dunham, Sonny White, Teddy Wilson, Cliff Smalls and the obscure Gloria Hearn, eight by Jay McShann and two from Sir Charles Thompson. Most of these pianists (other than Hines and Wilson) rarely recorded during this period in their careers, making this box very important both musically and historically.
As one of the most unique and respected guitarists in the world, Allan Holdsworth has influenced countless others, including legendary artists like Frank Zappa, Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen, Alex Lifeson and Steve Vai. In this one-of-a-kind DVD, Allan performs seven electrifying tunes with his band, which features keyboardist Steve Hunt, bassist Skuli Sverrisson, and drummer Chad Wackerman. Allan breaks down his creative use of scales and chord voicings in this video, and offers insightful suggestions as to how to go about creating your own unique sounds and chord voicings based on his simple, yet revolutionary, concept for harmonizing scales in intervals other than traditional 3rds. See incredible close-up shots of Allan s amazing technique here, and enjoy the unique opportunity to learn from one of the all-time greats!
George Lynch stormed onto the 1980s shred guitar scene with his band, Dokken. Along with contemporaries like Edward Van Halen and Randy Rhoads, George set the standard for virtuoso guitar playing. After Dokken, George went on to front his own band, Lynch Mob, and also recorded as a solo artist.
These two pieces make such excellent bedfellows that I’m surprised the coupling is not more common, though as I write this, Naxos have just announced their own recording of the same pairing. The Shostakovich seems to me an unfairly neglected work, considering its instant popularity after the 1940 premiere (the composer with the Beethoven Quartet). It was written in the wake of the Sixth Symphony, and is his last major pre-war piece. It encompasses many of the traits for which the composer is famous; there are the intense, neo-Bachian first and second movements, a playful, heavily ironic scherzo, a pensive, soulful intermezzo, and a finale where probing questions lurk beneath a surface veneer of jovial high spirits.