These 1964 sessions marked jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty's recording debut as a leader. In spite of his choice of instrument, he was mainly influenced by bop musicians (especially saxophonists and trumpeters) rather than fellow Frenchmen, swing violinist Stéphane Grappelli. At this stage in his career, he chose mostly compositions by European musicians of his generation, along with tunes American jazz compositions that had stood the test of time.
In their original incarnation on LP, the sound of Trevor Pinnock and his English Consort's 1981 recording of Vivaldi's famous Four Seasons was clear and bright. In subsequent CD iterations, it was clearer and brighter. But in this 2008 Japanese original bit processing issue, it has passed clearest and brightest and gone all the way to transparent and translucent. One can hear each of the 13 string players bows strike their strings and every pluck of Nigel North's theobro or Pinnock's harpsichord. And soloist Simon Standage sounds so vibrant and present that he may as well be in the room standing between the speakers.
Although a vinyl box set appeared during the early 1980s, and several of the mixes therein were subsequently appended to CD reissues of Soft Cell's regular albums, 1999's three-CD The Twelve Inch Singles represented the first ever corralling of the duo's entire extended remix output, and with it, undying evidence for Soft Cell's claim to immortality. Great 45s and terrific albums told only part of the story, after all. Across their earliest 12" singles, the sequence that led from "Memorabilia" to "Torch," Soft Cell utterly rejuvenated a format that had been growing increasingly stale and uninspired, not only offering purchasers more music for their money, but ensuring that it was music they'd actually want, as opposed to an extra few minutes of beat nailed onto the outro.
Raymond Fol's jazz arrangement of Antonio Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" may have fallen into obscurity, but the French pianist's big band scoring of this classical favorite shows plenty of imagination. With a band of his fellow countrymen, along with expatriate Americans Johnny Griffin (tenor sax), bassist Jimmy Woode, and drummer Art Taylor, he casts a variety of moods, even within individual sections. In the first movement of "Le Printemps (The Spring)" he chooses an Afro-Cuban mood, while the second shifts to a smaller chamber jazz setting, showcasing guitarist Pierre Cullaz, vibraphonist Sadi, and the leader in turn.
Regularly engaged in the Blue Note of the rue d'Artois in the 60s, Lou Benett often performed as a trio with guitarists Jimmy Gourley and René Thomas and drummer Kenny Clarke. With the commercial success of Amen, his first recording, Lou joined the trumpet player Donald Byrd, then student in the composition class of Nadia Boulanger, to make an album with ambitious sound architecture. Benefiting from Thomas' highly mobile guitar and Kenny Clarke's rhythmic flexibility, the Paris Jazz All Stars playing Byrd's toning arrangements, Lou Bennett's churchy organ roars powerful chords. The blues, music of the Baptist temples, permeates a carnal music, widely open to dance.