The Karajan Official Remastered Edition comprises 13 box sets containing official remasterings of the finest recordings the Austrian conductor made for EMI between 1946 and 1984, which are now a jewel of the Warner Classics catalog. Karajan's extraordinary capacity for elevating his soloists on a 'magic carpet' of orchestral sound is demonstrated in this 10 CD collection of concertos; among the instrumentalists are such figures as Sviatoslav Richter, David Oistrakh, Mstislav Rostropovich, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Alexis Weissenberg, Maurice André and James Galway.
The Karajan Official Remastered Edition comprises 13 box sets containing official remasterings of the finest recordings the Austrian conductor made for EMI between 1946 and 1984, and which are now a jewel of the Warner Classics catalogue.
The European label's third Gene Krupa set reissues all of the recordings made by the drummer's big band during a five-month period in 1939. Although working steadily, Krupa's Orchestra had not broken through yet (it was still two years away from its prime period). With Irene Daye contributing ten pleasing vocals among the 22 selections and such soloists as trumpeter Nate Kazebier, trombonist Floyd O'Brien, tenor-saxophonist Sam Donahue and pianist Milt Raskin (along with the drummer/leader), the group was starting to show some strong potential, particularly on the instrumentals such as "The Madam Swings It" and "Hodge Podge." Well-played if not overly distinctive swing music.
This CD, the fifth in Classics' complete chronological reissue of Benny Carter's early recordings as a leader, features his 1939-40 big band, an orchestra that never did catch on commercially. Most selections have trumpeter Joe Thomas, trombonist Vic Dickenson and pianist Eddie Heywood as the main soloists other than the leader (who plays alto and trumpet) although the last date on this disc has a reorganized band with trumpeter Bill Coleman and trombonist Sandy Williams among the principal players. among the highpoints from this enjoyable but underrated big band are "Savoy Stampede," "Scandal in a Flat," "Shufflebug Shuffle," "Night Hop" and "When Lights Are Low."
Lionel Hampton joins forces with a number of top French musicians for this 1955 studio session, reissued in Verve's Jazz in Paris series. Three of the four compositions are Hampton's, swinging tunes arranged by Christian Chevalier. The first, "Voice of the North," is primarily for the leader's matchless vibes with the rhythm section, though individual soloists are featured, including fellow Americans Nat Adderley and Benny Bailey on trumpets and David Amram on French horn, as well as clarinetist Maurice Meunier and baritone saxophonist William Boucaya. It's just Hampton and the rhythm section (pianist René Urtreger, bassist Guy Pedersen, and drummer Jean-Baptiste Reilles) for the long workout of "À la French." The one standard of the date, "Crazy Rhythm," suffers from somewhat muddy sound, particularly the overly distant brass. Guitarist Sacha Distel, though admittedly intimidated by Hampton, rises to the leader's level of playing with a fine solo. Overall, this is an enjoyable if not quite essential CD by Lionel Hampton.
Duke Ellington's orchestra in 1945 was riding quite high, with annual Carnegie Hall concerts, constant performing and recording, and appearances on many radio broadcasts. This disc features both studio recordings and a few V-Discs taken from radio shows. The latter are most notable for including the extended two-part "Frankie and Johnny" and the 12-and-a-half-minute "New World A-Comin'," while the studio recordings are highlighted by "Jumpin' Room Only" and three of the four parts of "Perfume Suite." With such soloists as Tricky Sam Nanton, Lawrence Brown, Al Sears, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, and four trumpeters, Ellington's big band remained at the top of its field as World War II came to an end.
Taken from a concert in Stockholm, Sweden, this well-recorded CD mostly features trumpeters Cootie Williams and Cat Anderson, tenor-saxophonist Paul Gonsalves and altoist Johnny Hodges as the main soloists in a set with Duke Ellington's orchestra. "The Opener," "Blow by Blow" and "The Prowling Cat" have rarely been recorded and even the more familiar pieces are given new life, highlighted by a definitive rendition of "Harlem."
These are the first recordings to appear under the name of Gerald Wilson. Schooled at Cass Technical College in Detroit and seasoned on the road with Jimmie Lunceford, Wilson started leading his own excellent big band in 1944, employing many of the most promising young musicians in the Los Angeles area at that time. Wilson may be heard blowing his trumpet along with Hobart Dotson, Emmett Berry, Fred Trainor, and Snooky Young. During a lovely version of Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday," trombonist Melba Liston takes her very first solo on record. Saxophone soloists include Eddie Davis (not "Lockjaw"), Floyd Turnham, and beefy-toned tenor Vernon Slater. All nine instrumentals are exceptionally fine big-band swing performances…
The second of two Tiny Parham CDs has the pianist's final two sessions from 1929, his two dates from 1930, and his three very obscure titles from 1940, cut three years before his death. There are many highlights among the 1929-1930 numbers, including "Sud Buster's Dream," "Dixieland Doin's," "Doin' the Jug Jug," and "Nervous Tension." Milt Hinton is heard on tuba, and even if most of the soloists (other than cornetist Punch Miller, who is on some of the songs) never became famous, the ensembles and frameworks make this music consistently memorable. The 1940 selections are played by a quartet with Parham doubling on organ and Darnell Howard the lead voice on clarinet and alto, and they are historically interesting.