Paul Desmond was an integral part of the Dave Brubeck Quartet for 17 years (1950-1967). His alto sax helped define the Brubeck sound, and just the fact that he wrote the most well known composition of Brubeck’s career (“Take Five”), would be enough to write his name in jazz history. However, it was his velvety tone and his lyrical improvisation that jazz fans remember most. His sensuous timbre, feather light, but still substantial, can be compared to both Johnny Hodges and Lester Young for its beauty.
The most complete package to date of Paul Desmond's RCA works. 6-CD set with all six original albums he cut for the RCA inprint (five of the six albums feature melodic guitar giant Jim Hall, the ideal musical partner for Desmond). All come in nice mini-LP replica sleeves reproducing original cover art, including 24 bonus tracks, and a comprenhensive booklet with full discographical details, rare in-studio photos and liner notes by Grammy-winning box producer Richard Seidel.
Rhino remastered and expanded Paul Simon's Warner catalog in 2004, boxing up the nine albums released between 1972 and 2000 as The Complete Studio Recordings. This archival work provides the foundation for Legacy's 2013 set The Complete Album Collection, which supplements these expanded reissues – a total of 30 bonus tracks were added to the nine albums, including demos, alternate takes, outtakes, non-LP material, and live cuts (but no original hit version of "Slip Sliding Away," an oversight that remains on this 2013 box) – with the two live albums released on Warner (1974's Paul Simon in Concert: Live Rhymin', 1991's Concert in the Park), the 1965 curiosity The Paul Simon Songbook that he recorded in the wake of the disappointing reception to Simon & Garfunkel's 1964 debut Wednesday Morning 3 AM and, most importantly, the two excellent albums Simon released after 2004: 2006's Surprise and 2011's So Beautiful or So What…
THE COMPLETE REMASTERED RECORDINGS ON BLACK SAINT & SOUL NOTE is a monographic box-set collection aimed at recounting the most beautiful chapters that revolutionised the history of jazz.
This new series was launched in March 2010 with the simultaneous release of four box-sets, including albums by some of the artists who participated in the success of the outstanding labels. A philological work, beginning with the original recordings on multi-track master tapes, patiently integrally remastered paying strict attention to the sound quality.
Vol. 3 of Lawrence Power's survey of the complete Hindemith work for viola features a cluster of works written for viola and orchestra in the short time between 1927 and 1930. Though Hindemith did not write a traditional concerto in the classical sense, the Op. 48 Konzertmusik, Kammermusik No. 5, and Der Schwanendreher each put the viola's abilities at the forefront of the orchestra. His personal knowledge of the instrument's technical, lyrical, and emotive abilities become quickly apparent as the viola is made to scurry around as nimbly as a violin in Konzertmusik, as emotionally rich as a cello in Trauermusik, or as colorful and evocative as a piano in Der Schwanendreher. All of these many moods are captured effortlessly by Power. His playing balances the clarity needed to execute agile passagework with the richness and depth needed for more lyrical sections. What's more, Power never gives the appearance of trying to make the viola sound like a violin; instead, he celebrates the viola's idiosyncrasies and transforms them into a rich, satisfying tapestry of sound. Joined by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under David Atherton, Vol. 3 of Power's hefty undertaking is just as worthwhile and engaging as the previous two and is certainly worth checking out.
The sound of Paul Bley's trio brings to mind Lennie Tristano immediately as this recording begins, and for once Bley is playing with a heavy enough touch so that an appropriately dark-toned curtain shrouds the music; out of this bursts a series of blues choruses that are incredibly inspired. Thus begins one of Bley's most enjoyable albums, a recording from New York City in the early '60s that has been issued in close to ten different versions. The acquisition of these tapes by the French BYG label right away spells trouble, especially for anyone hoping to collect royalties. Jazz fans will encounter several different cover photographs for these loose Footloose! releases, even involving several different pipes being smoked by Bley.
In 1992, Telarc unveiled a series of performances from the vault on a short-lived label punningly entitled "Telarchive," beginning with this long-delayed encore to the original releases from Paul Desmond's "Canadian" quartet. Recorded live in Toronto's Bourbon Street Jazz Club several months before the live dates released on Horizon and Artists House, it finds Desmond growing comfortable with his new Toronto friends but not quite settled into their laid-back ways quite yet. There are passages in this session where Desmond sounds a bit uncharacteristically scattered and unfocused, where guitarist Ed Bickert becomes the more fluid and stable solo partner, and bassist (and engineer) Don Thompson takes a lengthy solo on every track…
Although the RCA recordings featuring the Paul Desmond Quartet with Jim Hall were eventually reissued by the original label (also in a boxed set) after the last copy of this limited edition Mosaic box was sold, it is the Mosaic collection which will be remembered as a classic. Only that set includes the initial studio collaboration of Desmond & Hall for Warner Bros.; also present are reprints of Doug Ramsey's warm memorial tribute to the alto saxophonist, as well as Marian McPartland's brilliant portrait (written for Downbeat in 1960) and Desmond's own side-splitting article written for Punch about a Brubeck gig that went slightly haywire, all helping to unfold a portion of the mystery behind this man.