Etta James and Sarah Vaughan: by any and all accounts, two formidable women of song. Now, these late legends are both receiving the deluxe treatment from Legacy Recordings on two box sets as part of the Complete Albums series. Though Etta James' most enduring recordings were made during her sixteen years (1960-1976) at Chess Records, including her oft-imitated but never-topped perennial "At Last," the former Jamesetta Hawkins recorded for over fifty years in a variety of genres for a variety
Review: Vince Guaraldi Trio, "A Charlie Brown Christmas (2012 Remaster)"
Who buys a reissue? It's a question many of us catalogue enthusiasts probably struggle with at one point or another. When I was a younger, more naive music fan in the New Jersey suburbs, my logic was unique but relatively sound: I could pay $13 or so for a classic album I wanted on CD, or I could save up what I earned mowing the family lawn and spend $30 on a version with more material, nicer packaging, all of that. More was always better, in my mind. Of course, it's that mindset that's
Cast Your Fate to the Wind with New "Very Best of Jazz" Collections From Brubeck, Evans, Guaraldi, More
What makes a legend most? When it comes to the legends of jazz, Concord Music Group has that answer for you. Earlier this year, Concord launched The Very Best Of, a new series of "Jazz 101" collections designed at an affordable price point. These compact sets might introduce new fans to daunting catalogues, or offer longtime fans a compact sampler of a favorite artist. The first wave of titles arrived for Miles Davis (trumpet), John Coltrane (tenor saxophone), Sonny Rollins (tenor
Vinyl Renaissance: Omnivore Recordings Offers Art Pepper, Josh Haden's Spain on Vinyl, Plus "Music City" Rarities
The term "record store" (two rather hallowed words in these parts!) has long been used to describe those stores that sell music, even well into the age of the CD, and now, the digital download. But lately, record store walls have been lined with more and more actual vinyl records. In 2011, more records were purchased than in any other year in the past two decades, with sales up 36 percent over 2010, to a not-too-shabby 3.9 million. Sales for 2012 are likely to best that number. Since its
"The Very Best Of" Jazz: Concord Launches New Series With Davis, Rollins, Coltrane and More
If you've ever felt it might be a daunting task to "get into" jazz, Concord Music Group just might have the perfect releases for you. Concord is home to many of the genre's greatest labels, including Prestige, Contemporary, Riverside, Milestone, Fantasy and Pablo. With the new series simply titled The Very Best Of, the Concord team has offered an affordable, entry-level look into five of the most influential musicians of all time: Miles Davis (trumpet), John Coltrane (tenor saxophone), Sonny
Wes Montgomery's Lost Recordings Discovered On "Indiana Avenue"
Though Wes Montgomery died in 1968 aged just 45, the Indiana-born jazz guitarist made such an impression that his body of work has influenced an entire generation of guitar players, from George Benson to Pat Metheny, Jimi Hendrix and everyone in between. In a period of roughly ten years, Montgomery had three distinct periods at different labels: Riverside (1959-1964), Verve (1964-1966) and A&M (1967-1968), the latter two under the aegis of producer Creed Taylor. Maverick producer Taylor
Aces High! "The London American Label: 1957," "Mod Jazz Forever" and "Smash Boom Bang: Feldman-Goldstein-Gotteher" Available Now
Smash! Boom! Bang! The ace compilation experts at, well, Ace Records are offering up plenty of Smash, Boom and Bang (both in impact and in label name!) for your buck with their diverse slate of February releases. You'll find top-drawer pop, rock and soul for connoisseurs and beginners alike among the label's latest. Perhaps the most unexpected is the new entry in the label's long-running Songwriters and Producers series. Smash Boom Bang! The Songs and Productions of
Holiday Gift Guide Review: Tony Bennett, "The Complete Collection"
Welcome back to our Second Disc Holiday Gift Guide, in which we review some titles we might have missed over the past few weeks! The titles we’re spotlighting in this occasional series just might be candidates on your own holiday shopping list! Tony Bennett’s heart may be in San Francisco, but his soul can be found in a case measuring roughly 11 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches. For within those modest dimensions is housed some 65 years of music, spanning 1946 to 2011, over 73 CDs and 3 DVDs. And
Review: The Cool Revolution Continues - Four From CTI and Kudu
When he established Kudu as an offshoot of his titanic jazz label CTI, Creed Taylor wore his ambitions on his sleeve. The label was named after the long-horned African mammal and its logo adorned with Afro-centric colors, as Taylor intended to do no less than make Kudu a home for releases "indigenous to the black popular music of the United States." Taylor always knew the importance of a visual, and much as CTi releases were recognizable for their striking, provocative cover photographs and
Pink Floyd, Beatles, Nirvana, Doors Lead Off Record Store Day Exclusives On "Black Friday"
For those of us who still savor the experience of shopping in a physical environment, Record Store Day has become a yearly tradition. It’s sometimes frustrating and sometimes exciting, but few could argue with an event that spotlights the hard-working independent music retailers out there who believe that brick-and-mortar retail can still thrive in the iTunes era. (Amen to that!) A more recent offshoot of Record Store Day has been the mini-event held each Black Friday, or the day after
Review: Miles Davis Quintet, "The Bootleg Series Vol. 1: Live in Europe 1967"
Reflecting on Miles Davis’ so-called Second Great Quintet to director Mark Obenhaus, Herbie Hancock recalled that “when people were hearing us, they were hearing the avant-garde on one hand, and they were hearing the history of jazz that led up to it on the other hand - because Miles was that history. He was that link. We were sort of walking a tightrope with the kind of experimenting we were doing in music, not total experimentation, but we used to call it ‘controlled freedom.’” What exactly
Review: Frank Sinatra and Count Basie, "The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings"
When Frank Sinatra met Count Basie, it was far from a clash of the titans. No, the "historic musical first" that occurred between the grooves of Reprise 1008 in 1962 was more like a perfect union. Both were Jersey boys, with Basie's formative years spent south of Hoboken, in Red Bank, New Jersey. The men were unusually simpatico, similar in their enormous respect for musicians. Though Basie titled a 1959 album Chairman of the Board, the title was later bestowed upon Sinatra. When Basie put
Ode To A Kudu: CTI Masterworks Series Continues In October With Kudu Titles
Tuesday, August 9 brought the most recent quartet of CTI jazz titles to CD from Sony's Masterworks Jazz division. For the next batch, due October 4, the label has turned its attention to CTI's offshoot label, Kudu. Named after the long-horned African mammal, Kudu was launched by CTI's Creed Taylor in 1971. Taylor described his new endeavor as "a black awareness label, more commercial oriented than CTI and indigenous to the black popular music of the United States." Even the logo's familiar
Miles Ahead: Legacy Launches "Bootleg Series" For Davis
Move over, Bob Dylan. Another legendary Columbia Records artist just a couple of spaces over on the CD shelf is receiving the Bootleg Series treatment with the September 20 release of The Miles Davis Quintet – Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Volume 1. And this release looks every inch as lavish and essential as the releases in Dylan’s similarly titled, long-running series. It’s drawn from original state-owned television and radio sources in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, and
Ipanema, Again: "Getz/Gilberto" Restored To Original Mix For New SACD and Vinyl LP
Bossa nova, translated, literally means "new trend." And as 1964 began, with the British Invasion taking flight, America was also experiencing a Brazilian Invasion thanks to this new trend in popular music and jazz. Identified by gentle acoustic guitar and sometimes piano, and often adorned with subtle string or horn accents, bossa nova was based on the rhythms of the samba. It soon was adapted on stages from the concert hall to Broadway, spawned the "lounge" genre and influenced countless
Masterworks Jazz Continues "Cool Revolution" with a Quartet from CTI
Chances are, if you think of a jazz artist, it wouldn't take many degrees of separation to reach Creed Taylor. The esteemed producer began his career at Bethlehem Records overseeing a roster including Herbie Mann, Charles Mingus, Carmen McRae, J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding. In 1956, he departed Bethlehem for ABC-Paramount, where in 1960 he launched the Impulse! label with artists like Johnson, Winding, Ray Charles and John Coltrane. It was at Impulse! that Taylor came into his own, emphasizing
Review: Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim, "Sinatra/Jobim: The Complete Reprise Recordings"
"Tall and tan and young and handsome..." Those lyrics to Antonio Carlos Jobim's "The Boy from Ipanema" kicked off a bossa nova boom that saw virtually every noteworthy vocalist and jazz musician of the 1960s recording in the mellow Brazilian style. Frank Sinatra, though, was hardly one to follow a trend for hipness' sake. By 1967, the label he founded, Reprise, was turning its sights to Laurel Canyon and Haight-Ashbury, and the bossa craze was on the wane. Sinatra would, as always, record on his
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