Verve 60th Anniversary Rare Albums SHM-CD Reissue Series. Reissue with SHM-CD format. Two different sides of Verve Records in the 50s – one modern, one a bit more traditional – and both represented in live material from the Newport Jazz Festival in 1957! Side one features a stunning live performance from pianist Teddy Wilson – working in a tight trio with Milt Hinton on bass and Spec Powell on drums – and really blowing away any conceptions we might have had about Wilson being aging or flowery at the time. Instead, he's got a sharp edge and command of the keys that's amazing – and which almost seems to have a bit more bite than usual in this concert setting.
Verve 60th Anniversary Rare Albums SHM-CD Reissue Series. Reissue with SHM-CD format. Phil Woods' recordings with his short-lived European Rhythm Machine are among the most adventurous of his career, though few of them have been available in the CD era. This 1969 concert at the Montreux Jazz Festival features the alto saxophonist with pianist George Gruntz, bassist Henri Texier and drummer Daniel Humair in a wide ranging set.
Verve 60th Rare Albums SHM-CD Reissue Series. Reissue with SHM-CD format. Intimate listening from pianist Teddy Wilson, but surprisingly lively listening too – as Teddy's as fleet on the keys as ever, and maybe even more so in this well-recorded session from the 50s! The record's got a great Verve vibe – simple, unadorned presentation of the Teddy Wilson genius at its mature height – with bass and drums to help bring in a gentle bit of rhythm, but Teddy handling most of the energy himself – with an amazing command of the keyboard that really transforms these familiar tunes. The approach is like Erroll Garner at his best from the time – subtle magic from simple sources – but Teddy's lighter, and more lyrical too – especially on his flourishes on the keys.
Verve 60th Anniversary Rare Albums SHM-CD Reissue Series. Reissue with SHM-CD format. A surprisingly wonderful album from Artie Shaw – one that takes his older groove and nicely strips it down for the 50s, and which features some especially great guitar work from Tal Farlow! Other players in the group include Hank Jones on piano, Joe Roland on vibes, Tommy Potter on bass, and Irv Kluger on drums – coming together in a loosely swinging mode that has lots of interplay on the longer-than-usual tracks on the set. Titles include the originals "When The Quail Come Back To Town", "Lugubrious", "The Grabtown Grapple", and "Lyric".
Verve 60th Anniversary Rare Albums SHM-CD Reissue Series. Reissue with SHM-CD format. Hip and groovy work from Phil – very different than both his earlier bop-heavy sides, and his freer European recordings – recorded with some great backings by Johnny Pate, the excellent Chicago soul arranger who also did some great soundtrack work! Pate's come up with some tight short tracks that have a nice groovy late 60s Verve feel – over which Woods solos angularly on alto, working amidst woodwinds by Jerome Richardson and Jerry Dodgion, piano by Herbie Hancock, trumpet by Thad Jones, and some light strings that trickle in and out from time to time.
Verve 60th Rare Albums SHM-CD Reissue Series. Reissue with SHM-CD format. A combination of three sessions with three different small backing groups available currently on a Japanese CD – this is an early revealing example of Anita O'Day's growth as a jazz artist since her days as a big band thrush. Her virtuosity at fast tempos is right on the dot, and she is fearlessly willing to take wide-open liberties with the melodies.
Verve 60th Anniversary Rare Albums SHM-CD Reissue Series. Reissue with SHM-CD format. This is one of the more obscure J.J. Johnson LPs. On six of the ten songs, the great trombonist is joined by four others, while the remaining four tracks (the main reasons to search for this album) feature him in a quartet with pianist Hank Jones, bassist Richard Davis and drummer Walter Perkins. Johnson's writing on the larger group pieces lifts the material, which is all taken from Broadway shows, while his playing on the quartet tracks is up to his usual level. Some of the songs are now forgotten, but "My Favorite Things," "Make Someone Happy" and "Put on a Happy Face" are exceptions. This album has some good music, but it will be very difficult to find.
Limited Edition of 7500. Includes a 20-page booklet. By 1952, Teddy Wilson's flawless swing style had already been fully formed for at least 17 years, and it would not change at all during the remaining three decades of his life. Wilson's performances were predictably excellent, but predictable nonetheless. This limited-edition five-CD set has all of the pianist's Verve trio recordings, which includes six-and-a-half former LPs (the half was an appearance at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival), a set only released previously in Japan, and a live date that had never come out before.
The Gerry Mulligan Quartet of 1952-53 was one of the best-loved jazz groups of the decade and it made stars out of both the leader and trumpeter Chet Baker. Mulligan and Baker had very few reunions after 1953 but this particular CD from 1957 is an exception. Although not quite possessing the magic of the earlier group, the music is quite enjoyable and the interplay between the two horns is still special. With expert backup by bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Dave Bailey, these 13 selections (plus two new alternate takes) should please fans of both Mulligan and Baker.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Eddie Harris hit the 1970 Newport Jazz Festival head on with his satchel of electronic sax gear, funky soul/jazz track record, and a quartet with Jodie Christian now anchored on electric piano. Naturally there would be some funk on display ("Carry on Brother") and guest vocalist Eugene McDaniels, composer of "Compared to What," comes up with a lame, hectoring sequel, "Silent Majority."