Through the 1930s, Coleman Hawkins growth is exponential, especially in his ballad playing. Buttery warm and cozy, he finds notes that always work within the chord and are clearly there for anyone to find. But he's the one who finds them. And what is there to say about his solo on 1939's "Body and Soul" that hasn't already been said? This is the music that has proven so inspirational to generations of tenor saxophonists since; the endless possibility when taste and intelligence take on exceptional material. Our jam-packed set on eight CDs includes 190 tracks, 12 never before released. Included is material from Coleman's earliest days with Mamie Smith and her Jazz Hounds, his time with Henderson including various pseudonym bands and offshoots that shared personnel, the Mound City Blue Blowers, Benny Goodman's orchestra, Lionel Hampton, Benny Carter, Count Basie, co-leader sides with trumpeter Henry Red Allen, Cozy Cole, and a variety of all-star dates for Metronome, Leonard Feather, and Esquire, as well as recordings as a leader of his own dates. Our research has corrected many discrepancies in previous discographies.
Of all the various best-ofs and compilations that have come out over time that cover the Go-Go's career, this one is the clearest winner, by a long shot. Though by default it doesn't tell the full story, appearing as it did in 1994, in terms of containing both the famous hits and a slew of rarities and unreleased tracks, Return to the Valley of the Go-Go's is equally valuable for both neophytes and hardcore fans. The first 11 tracks alone make for an entertaining peek into the band's earliest days, with a slew of live cuts from both early rehearsals and gigs, including a number of songs taped at the legendary SF punk venue the Mabuhay Gardens. Everything's rough, energetic, and merry fun – while it's no surprise why some compositions remained unheard in later years, it's still worth hearing how the group pureed everything from straight-up punk to spaghetti Western guitar and girl group right from the start. A real treat is a romp through "Johnny, Are You Queer?" which would later get a more famous (and much more sedate!) take by Josie Cotton. Plenty of rare B-sides from the group's commercially dominant days surface here and there, and as for the big hits, they're available a-plenty: "We Got the Beat," "Vacation," "Our Lips Are Sealed," "Head Over Heels," "Turn to You," and more. Choice album cuts include "Skidmarks on My Heart" and "This Town".
Goodbye is one of, if not the most expansive and diverse collections pianist Bobo Stenson has ever released. This is his first ECM release in five years. Paul Motian takes over the drum chair vacated by Jon Christensen, and his shimmering, deep listening and subtlety add to the excellence and sheer quiet beauty of this recording. Goodbye is more a recording of songs than jazz pieces – at least in a traditional sense. This trio doesn't swing, they play, they slowly dance through the lyric pieces found here.
Compiled from the Porcupine Tree support slot in October 2006, this is a snapshot of the duo grappling with the task of combining the harmonic ambiguity of Soundscapes with some straight ahead rock grooves. With so much of Robert’s public work being taken up with ‘scaping in recent times, it’s almost a novelty to hear him rocking it up like he does on Time Groove from Boston and Queer Jazz NYC. Despite all the technology involved this is a pared-back sound compared to previous projeKcts, and there's a tentative, exploratory quality about much of the music; two players in search of that often elusive moment, an intriguing aspect which provides much of the tension and appeal.