Rhino continues with their admirable excavation of the Atlantic vaults with this, their second round of some of the label's '60s jazz highlights. In the spotlight are such instrumental heavyweights as Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Eddie Harris, Charles Mingus, Hank Crawford, and Yusef Lateef, and on the vocal end there's fine work by Betty Carter and Mose Allison. Yes, this album might have a tough time competing with similar collections from the Blue Note and Impulse! imprints. But then again, those labels would be hard-pressed to come up with a selection as varied as this: From the truly idiosyncratic Ellington musings of Kirk ("Creole Love Call") to a taste of Aquarius age jazz by Charles Lloyd ("Dreamweaver: Meditation/Dervish Dance"), this 14-track disc truly runs the '60s jazz gamut.
The Complete Studio Collection. All eight studio albums from 1981’s ‘Face Value’ to 2010’s ‘Going Back’ in one Box Set for the first time on CD. After an incredible comeback in 2016 that included a #2 charting compilation album, 300,000 catalogue sales, sold-out shows at the Royal Albert Hall and a headline slot at British Summer Time; Rhino looks to round out a hugely successful catalogue campaign with a new Complete Studio Collection the brings together all eight of Phil Collins’ albums for the first time. The set includes all eight studio albums from 1981’s ‘Face Value’ to 2010’s ‘Going Back’ – five of which were UK #1. This CD slipcase box features mini gatefold wallets and the remastered music from last year’s re-issue campaign.
Ginger Baker's taken the long road to a position at the height of the jazz drums family. He spent half a decade playing jazz in England before making it very, very big with Cream. Then he nearly vanished, playing drums all the while but without the fan base Cream afforded him. Then came his two head-turning jazz trio CDs Going Back Home and Falling Off the Roof, both of which featured the bass and guitar of Charlie Haden and Bill Frisell, and which won accolades and more. Following those outings is this collection from Baker's Denver Quintet to Octet (or DJQ2O), which employs a host of the finest jazzers from Colorado's biggest city. Saxophonist Fred Hess and trumpeter Ron Miles are the best known of the bunch, but the entire band plays strong postbop. The group can vamp in a minor key with strong feeling, and it can get ferociously gritty, as on "Daylight," which gets drenched in distorted electric and pedal steel guitars at once. This is a jazz ensemble that should be on the road constantly, playing to ravaged crowds; its members are talented in every way.
As someone once said, Mose Allison songs are like haiku – each very much like another, and yet each with their own qualities. So you can pretty much get any Mose album, and get a fair sampling. There are a few outliers: his 50s albums only had one or two vocals per album, but this collection is past that. Swinging Machine has horns, and that is included here. Western Man and Middle-Class White Boy favored electric piano, but neither of those are here. Down-home jazzy piano, wry lyrics, easy-going vocals, and an attentive rhythm section – that's basically any Mose album from 1960 onward, and four of them are here.
A deluxe three-disc set summing up Otis' pre-Hand Jive days as an R&B bandleader of some renown who employed various singers on a number of singles for the Savoy label. The recording debuts of the Robins, Little Esther Phillips, Mel Walker, guitarist Pete Lewis, and Linda Hopkins are all here, and you hear how Otis kept his ear to the ground, changing and moving to keep pace with a big-band scene that was slowly dying out, while making some marvelous DIY records along the way. Incredible notes from Billy Vera make this a box set well worth having in the collection.