The second Concord album was recorded the day after the first with the same lineup: guitarists Herb Ellis and Joe Pass, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Jake Hanna. Pass would sign with Pablo but Ellis would be a fixture on the Concord label throughout the 1970s. If anything, the guitarists' rematch was a bit stronger than their first due to material better suited for jamming including "In a Mellotone," a speedy "Seven Come Eleven," "Perdido" and "Concord Blues." Although Pass would soon be recognized as a giant, Ellis battles him to a draw on this frequently exciting bop-oriented date, which has been reissued on CD.
The very first release by the Concord label was a quartet set featuring guitarists Herb Ellis and Joe Pass, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Jake Hanna. Ellis and Pass (the latter was just beginning to be discovered) always made for a perfectly complementary team, constantly challenging each other. The boppish music (which mixes together standards with "originals" based on the blues and a standard) is quite enjoyable with the more memorable tunes including "Look for the Silver Lining," "Honeysuckle Rose," "Georgia," "Good News Blues," and "Bad News Blues." This was a strong start for what would become the definitive mainstream jazz label.
Beside Marty Paich, none of Mel Tormé's collaborators exerted such a large influence on the singer's career as George Shearing, the pianist whose understated, expressive accompaniment contributed to Tormé's resurgence during the early '80s. Their six excellent albums together – two of which, An Evening With… and Top Drawer, earned Grammy awards – proved that classic vocal music had outlasted the long night that was the '70s, and emerged to become a timeless American genre. The pair's work for Concord was usually recorded live in a trio or quartet setting; leaving much space for Shearing solos, Tormé occasionally reprised his big standards ("A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," "Lullaby of Birdland," "The Folks Who Live on the Hill"), but often searched for more obscure material he could make his own, and often succeeded. Tormé and Shearing were restless innovators, taking on a full album of World War II standards, medleys devoted to songs about New York and by Duke Ellington, and a stunningly broad range of material: "Oleo," "Lili Marlene," "How Do You Say Auf Wiedersehen?," and "Dat Dere."
This Concord CD was Tito Puente's 99th as a leader and the music is particularly strong. Four jazz standards alternate with a quartet of Puente's originals and Chucho Valdes' "Cha Cha Cha," all of which are potentially good vehicles for jazz improvisations (although "Ode" and "Lambada" are dominated by group vocals). There are plenty of fine solos throughout by the five horn players and the three or four-piece percussion section keeps the rhythms infectious. In the world of Latin-jazz, Tito Puente has had few peers.
There is no denying that Dave Brubeck's hit sides for Columbia permanently established him in the popular jazz consciousness, but that's also a limiting factor: he cut great music before and after his tenure there. The Definitive Dave Brubeck, a double-disc, 26-track collection issued just in time to celebrate the pianist's 90th birthday and to coincide with the documentary film Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Time (whose executive producer is Clint Eastwood), fills in key points in the rest of the story. This compilation was assembled by Russell Gloyd, Brubeck's manager, producer, and conductor since 1976…
The 1987 edition of the Brubeck Quartet featured pianist Brubeck, his son Chris on electric bass and bass trombone, clarinetist Bill Smith and drummer Randy Jones. In addition to remakes of "Blue Rondo à la Turk," "Strange Meadowlark" and "Swing Bells," the leader contributed six new originals including "I See, Satie" and a tribute to Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz called "Dizzy's Dream." Bill Smith, who uses electronics with taste on his clarinet during a few songs, has long been a major asset to the later Brubeck Quartets. This is one of their better Concord CDs.
For this particular Tito Puente recording, his exciting three-horn, three-percussion Latin jazz octet (which includes longtime saxophone soloist Mario Rivera) is joined by alto great Phil Woods on three of the eight selections, including Thelonious Monk's "Pannonica" and "Repetition." Such songs as "Corner Pocket," "Carioca" and Dizzy Gillespie's "Con Alma" sound perfectly natural in this Afro-Cuban jazz setting, and Puente (well featured on vibes and timbales) is responsible for two originals and seven of the nine arrangements. The music is danceable, adventurous and quite fun.
This two-disc set by vocalist Flora Purim and percussionist Airto Moreira includes the Grammy-nominated album The Magicians and the rhythmically vibrant The Sun Is Out. The albums, originally released in 1986 and 1989 respectively, give listeners the full benefit of authentic Brazilian jazz and rhythms sung and played by two of the country's most innovative and imaginative artists. Among the favorites are "Esquinas," written by Djavan, and Purim's own "Midday Sun" – both passionate accounts of the Brazilian world and jazz styles.
RAM forms one part of the Paul McCartney archive collection, personally supervised by Paul and newly remastered at Abbey Road Studios. RAM, originally released in May of 1971, is the only album to be credited to both Paul and Linda McCartney. The album topped the charts hitting number one in the UK and number two in the US, and also gave Paul his first post-Beatles US number one single with "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" and a Grammy win for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists.