Other than a set in 1957, this long-out-of-print LP was guitarist Jim Hall's debut as a leader. The 29-year-old Hall was not exactly an unknown name at the time, having played with the Original Chico Hamilton Quintet and the Jimmy Giuffre Three; he was still a year away from joining Sonny Rollins. Subtitled "The Modest Jazz Trio," the band on this date consists of Hall, bassist Red Kelly, and Red Mitchell quite effectively playing piano (he was usually a bassist). The combination works quite well, performing what was essentially straight-ahead jazz. Originally, the unit was only supposed to record the "Good Friday Blues" for a blues anthology album, but the music felt so strong that the trio cut a full album in one day, performing three standards, two Mitchell originals and Bill Harris' "Bill Not Phil."
Ry Cooder's soundtrack for The Long Riders received a top-notch treatment from Warner Bros. (Japan), who not only did an excellent remastering job, but backed it up with English lyrics to the songs, notes, and a Japanese insert. Cooder was in fine form with this score, using original material, unusual and anachronistic instruments (saz, tamboura, electric guitar), and elements of traditional songs from the Civil War period. As a result, the album can be appreciated as a unique entity, away from the film – and bonded to the film, the music provides grace and power to the onscreen events.
This double album matches and mixes together four masterful musicians: pianist Oscar Peterson, guitarist Joe Pass, bassist Niels Pedersen and harmonica great Toots Thielemans. Together they perform O.P.'s "City Lights" and ten veteran standards with creativity, wit and solid swing. There are a few miraculous moments as one would expect from musicians of this caliber and the results are generally quite memorable.
When it comes to old Italian vocal music, the Italian choir "La Stagione Armonica" from Padua under the direction of Sergio Balestracci has proven its high musical level several times. After the recording with responsories, which Alessandro Scarlatti composed for Good Saturday, the follow-up album with Scarlatti's responsories for Good Friday is now released.