Tenor saxophonist James Clay had a brief comeback starting in 1988 before he passed away in 1995. This is one of his final recordings. Most interesting is a duet with bassist Christian McBride on "Crazeology." There are also four quartet numbers (with McBride, pianist Kirk Lightsey, and drummer Winard Harper) and four selections that are reunions with fellow tenor David "Fathead" Newman (including a remake of "Wide Open Spaces"). Two of the numbers with Newman ("Sister Sadie" and "Moanin'") also feature trumpeter Roy Hargrove. Although Clay's playing is not flawless (Newman sounds more consistent), plenty of sparks fly and this is a frequently exciting set, well worth searching for.
"Ray Brown with the All-Star Big Band" is a 1962 album by the jazz double bassist Ray Brown accompanied by a big band featuring the alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley.
"Ray Brown / Milt Jackson" is an album by bassist Ray Brown and vibraphonist Milt Jackson recorded in 1965 and released on the Verve label.
This double CD is most notable for its second half which has a strong outing from Chick Corea's Elektric Band, his pacesetting fusion band with guitarist Frank Gambale, altoist Eric Marienthal, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Dave Weckl. The first CD is of lesser interest since it contains three routine vocals by Diane Schuur and some dull R&B jams with guitarist Lee Ritenour, keyboardist Dave Grusin and saxophonist Tom Scott. This set is worth buying for Corea's contributions if seen at a budget price.
Since launching his recording career in 1977, David Benoit’s expansive career as a contemporary jazz pianist has included over 25 solo recordings. His ‘80s releases This Side Up, Freedom at Midnight and the GRAMMY nominated Every Step of the Way are considered influential genre classics. Among his other Grammy nominations are those for Best Instrumental Composition (for “Dad’s Room,” from 1999’s Professional Dreamer) and Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance (for the GRP All-Star Big Band).
German drummer Klaus Weiss appeared in groups with many American expatriates as well as leading his own bands in trio, quintet, sextet, and big-band settings from the '60s through the '90s. Influenced by such drummers as Big Sid Catlett and Buddy Rich, Weiss began playing professionally at age 16. His first gigs, with a group called the Jazzopators, provided accompaniment roles for trumpeter Nelson Williams and vocalist Inez Cavanaugh. Weiss also worked with the Klaus Doldinger Quartet, and played at the Blue Note in Paris with Bud Powell, Kenny Drew, and Johnny Griffin…
Terrific, limited edition box set collecting all the recordings made by this one of a like group of superstar musicians including: Art Farmer, Phil Woods, Zoot Sims, Curtis Fuller, Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson, Art Blakey, and Hank Jones. The set includes 5 CDs covering all of his 1959-60 studio and 1961 live Mercury sessions, as well as an earlier set from 1956 for ABC-Paramount and a 1961 date for Impulse. Also includes an exhaustive essay by Brian Priestley and a complete discography, as well as many rare photographs by Chuck Stewart.
Oliver Nelson was one of the more distinctive arrangers to be active in jazz, the studios, and popular music of the '60s. While most Nelson reissues focus on his always-excellent saxophone playing (whether on tenor or alto), this six-CD set, Argo, Verve and Impulse Big Band Studio Sessions, focuses on Oliver Nelson the arranger-composer-bandleader. He does take solos on some of these dates on tenor, alto,and soprano (his only recorded solos on that instrument), but it his writing that takes center stage.