This outstanding DVD features many of the most important artists from the heyday of the big band era. Such giants as Billy Eckstine, Gene Ammons, Andy Kirk, Bing Crosby, Tex Beneke, Johnny Long, Ozzie Nelson and Johnny Messner can be seen here leading their orchestras in superlative fashion.
Billy Eckstine - The celebrated vocalist and band leader Billy Eckstine was one of the most important musical figures of the 1940's.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. A great return to form for vocalist Earl Coleman – a singer who'd recorded earlier in the bop years, but who makes a rare 60s appearance here on a soulful set for Atlantic Records! Coleman's got a rich voice that's somewhere between Johnny Hartman and Billy Eckstine – with a great range that really goes deep when it wants, yet still has a fluid sensibility that's definitely jazz more than anything else. Billy Taylor's on the record on piano, and leads the combo on most numbers – but the set also features some nice arrangements from Frank Foster and Tom McIntosh, both of whom really keep things interesting. Titles include "Charade", "When Did You Leave Heaven", "I Wish I Knew", "Day In the Life Of a Fool", and "I Won't Tell A Soul".
From a label with no shortage of first-rate jazz material come this very attractive vocal sampler. Staying true to the Compact Jazz ethos, Best of the Jazz Vocalists favors quality over hits and comes with a budget price tag. The majority of songs are from the label's prime '50s and '60s run, including a cloud-bound "Summertime" by Helen Merrill and one of the all-time great versions of "If You Could See Me Now," compliments of Billy Eckstine. Continuing with this balancing act between the sexes, the collection also includes fine work by Bill Henderson, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Abbey Lincoln, Jon Hendricks, Shirley Horn, and Anita O'Day; latter-day entries include Lincoln's "I've Got Thunder and It Rings" from her 1990 Verve debut and Horn's "I Got Lost in His Arms" from 1988's Close Enough for Love. Nicely wrapped up with Nina Simone's Afro-percussion clarion call "Come Ye," this Verve roundup works as the perfect primer for more adventurous trips through the label's fertile stores of essential jazz.
It was during the 1960s that Quincy Jones became a world renowned Jazz musician and composer of film soundtracks, but it was not until about the middle of the decade that success of this nature began to come his way, soon after he had composed the score for Oscar nominated The Pawnbroker. Indeed, during the first few years of the 1960s he lived as a working musician, bandleader and the musical director of Barclay Records - the French imprint of Mercury - but could barely earn enough to pay the bills. This however, did not prevent Quincy from continuing to perform and release music of a quite superlative nature.