It wasn't so long ago that the only Sibelius quartet on disc was Voces intimae. Now the catalogue boasts no fewer than three accounts of the A minor, and the Voces intimae itself is available in five different versions. It is worth, perhaps, reminding you that before the Kullervo Symphony, Sibelius had hardly composed anything other than chamber music. After his breakthrough as an orchestral composer he continued to write music for domestic use, but into none of it did he pour ideas of any real significance or inspiration, with the sole exception of Voces intimae.
This excellent CD reissues the LP Brubeck Time plus half of Red Hot and Cool. One of the few early studio (as opposed to club) recordings by the early Dave Brubeck Quartet (this version has bassist Bob Bates and drummer Joe Dodge in addition to pianist Brubeck and altoist Paul Desmond), the fine unit performs nine standards plus three new compositions: "Stompin' for Mili," "Audrey" (dedicated to Audrey Hepburn) and Brubeck's classic, "The Duke."
Cab Calloway had one of his strongest orchestras during the period covered by this CD, the eighth of 12 put out by the European Classics label that reissue all of his studio recordings from 1930-42. Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie joined the band by the time of its Aug. 30, 1939 session and he has several short solos on these tracks in addition to being well-featured on the adventurous "Pickin' the Cabbage." In addition, the great tenor Chu Berry gets plenty of solo space, the impressive rhythm section (with guitarist Danny Barker, bassist Milt Hinton and drummer Cozy Cole) really propels the ensembles and Cab Calloway is in typically exuberant voice. Among the highlights are "The Ghost of Smoky Joe," "Crescendo in Drums" (a feature for Cole), "Pluckin' the Bass" (Hinton's showcase) and even "Jiveformation Please".
This record was originally released in 1991 after Taj had taken a break for a number of side projects including children's records. He was obviously refreshed - the record is full of new ideas and incorporates new production techniques, check out the lovely song "Every wind in the river" and also the scratching and rap stylings of "Squat that rabbit". A bit radical for blues but both work very well. Taj revists the song "Giant step" and also takes the traditional blues "Blues with a feeling" to New Orleans, with an added dash of steel guitar (!?!). Guests include banjo player David Johnson, guitarist David Lindley, Andy Kravitz and Bill Summers and the backing band sound great throughout. This is a really good, imaginative record that saw Taj coming back to form and his next couple of records in the 90s were even better.
Not half as well known as he should be, Edwards is a Delta- born jazz saxophonist who impresses for his post-bop inventiveness and his predisposition to the blues. Allowed a rare feature date, he gives lessons in how to delve into a melody for meaning and then express the resulting revelations in down-home terms-relish the poetic beauty of the title song. Tom Waits, an original, molds his vocal excesses into triumphant blues declarations in Edwards's stunning composition "I'm Not Your Fool Anymore." Indeed.