The then-32-year-old trumpeter Ruby Braff was fond of show tunes, and took for his concept the songs from the Gershwin brothers' Broadway stage play Girl Crazy for this album, his sixth as a leader. The music played by this band under the moniker of the Shubert Alley Cats is fairly predictable within the swing style, but this recording at times leans more toward bop with the inclusion of pianist Hank Jones, guitarist Jim Hall, and especially Al Cohn, who plays his trusty tenor sax and a lot of clarinet. The musicianship is solid enough, the songs a bit stretched with solos, and the jazz fairly interesting within the conservative, mainstream, straight-ahead idiom. The hottest tune is the last, "Barbary Coast," as bassists Bob Haggart and George Duvivier go to town while the horns jam, while the slowest "Embraceable You" is the opener, a ballad where Braff plays in a style akin to Louis Armstrong.
For the fourth of five recordings made by the classic Ruby Braff-George Barnes Quartet, ten songs by Rodgers and Hart are given melodic, swinging, creative treatment. Cornetist Braff and guitarist Barnes fed off of each other and worked very well together, while rhythm guitarist Wayne Wright and bassist Michael Moore always gave them impeccable support. Highlights of this enjoyable set include "Isn't It Romantic," "Blue Room," "You Took Advantage of Me" and "The Lady Is a Tramp".
Ruby is one of those few people who could solo with a pipe organ, who could improvise with such an unusual instrumental background. It requires a very special ability - flexibility, ingenuity, and invention. Ruby, of course, is his own man. Like his idol, Louis Armstrong, he commands the center of attention, even if the background is something as odd as a theatre organ. The tonal colors of a pipe organ are its great glory. Above all, I'm stimulated by being able to orchestrate on the spot. And once you launch into a bright swinging tempo with the instrument sounding perhaps a beat behind the fingers, the sensation is like leading a herd of galloping elephants. You don't dare look back.
The short lived New England originally formed around the Boston area in the late 1970s, featuring John Fannon on guitar and lead vocals, Jimmy Waldo on keyboards, Hirsh Gardner on drums and Gary Shea on bass guitar. After being discovered by famed KISS manager Bill Aucoin, their self-titled debut was issued by Infinity Records in 1979, and produced by KISS’s Paul Stanley, produced along with famed Queen, Asia and Journey producer Mike Stone. The tracks ‘Hello, Hello, Hello’ (UK No. 69) and ‘Don’t Ever Wanna Lose Ya’ (US No. 40) began to pick up plenty of airplay on AOR radio in the States as the band headed out on a major arena tour opening for KISS. Switching to Elektra Records, New England followed their debut in 1980 with “Explorer Suite”, this time co-produced by Mike Stone with singer and principle songwriter, John Fannon. The title track, plus ‘Livin’ In The Eighties’ were released as singles, but didn’t quite manage to capitalise on the airplay from the first LP. “Walking Wild”, their third and final album, also for Elektra, was released in 1981 and produced by Todd Rundgren. With ‘Don’t Ever Let Me Go’, ‘DDT’ and ‘Get It Up’ released as singles, the album had a more harder rocking approach, but unfortunately the band split up shortly after its release, in 1982.
This new release from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales presents Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations and George Chadwick’s Symphonic Sketches. George Chadwick and Edward Elgar lived almost parallel lives on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Born in rural Massachusetts in 1854, Chadwick was Elgar’s senior by three years. Elgar, born in Worcester in 1857, was to become everything Chadwick aspired to be yet wasn’t. Successful and respected as an academic, Chadwick was appointed director of Boston’s New England Conservatory in 1897. Whilst he helped establish the NEC as a major international conservatory, it was recognition as a great composer that he sought most. Elgar, on the other hand, maintained a lifelong suspicion of academics and yet rose to become one of the most venerated composers of his era.
New England is the seventh studio album by rock band Wishbone Ash. It was a success compared to the band's Locked In album, but still did not chart as high as most of their previous albums. This album would mark the "Americanization" of Wishbone Ash, as the band would relocate from England to the Northeastern United States (New England) for tax purposes. New England contained an even balance of hard rock songs and breezy, soft rock ballads, the latter of which would see further exploration from Wishbone Ash on their next studio album, Front Page News.
An epic 100 CD chronological documentation of the history of jazz music from 1898 to 1959, housed in four boxed sets. Each box contains 25 slipcase CDs, a booklet (up to 186 pages) and an index. The booklets contain extensive notes (Eng/Fr) with recording dates and line-ups. 31 hours of music in each box, totalling 1677 tracks Each track has been restored and mastered from original sources.