Recordings of Beethoven's Triple Concerto, Op. 56, by a piano trio rather than by a group of virtuosi (a configuration that almost always misunderstands the work) are not abundant. Still rarer are those like the present release by the Storioni Trio, a Dutch group that takes its name from the maker of the 1790s instrument played by the violinist (and strung, like the viola, with gut strings). Pianist Bart van de Roer plays an 1815 Lagasse fortepiano. This recording is part of a series devoted to Beethoven's piano trios, but the Triple Concerto actually is more comfortable in those surroundings than when forced to keep company with the likes of the Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61.
Released in 1974, Faces in Reflection was, in many ways, George Duke's third album as a leader for MPS. The first two, Solus and The Inner Source, were recorded separately but issued as a double-LP by SABA, which shortly thereafter ceased doing business and was folded into MPS. That said, there is little resemblance between the man who recorded his early albums like Save the Country, those aforementioned, and the seasoned studio experimentalist who cut Faces in Reflection. Duke's periods with Cannonball Adderley and Frank Zappa (the latter an ongoing relationship; it was Zappa who introduced Duke to the synthesizer) had taught him a ton musically and about working in the studio. The players here include Leon "Ndugu" Chancler and bassist John Heard.
After prison, after first shocking, then disappointing, and perhaps ultimately (and grimly) amusing the jazz world with enough dope-related hijinks to fill a book (as in Straight Life), alto saxist Art Pepper made a triumphant mid-1970s comeback. This 1979 session is rich with the fruits of Pepper's return, a depth of playing that shows itself constantly throughout the New York Album's five tunes.
Many have compared Marlena Shaw's range, class and swing to that of eternal jazz lights Sarah Vaughn, Dinah Washington and Nancy Wilson. This 1972 release was Shaw's debut for Blue Note and includes a blend of pop songs and show tunes, arranged and conducted by Wade Marcus. Shaw had just ended a four-year stint as a vocalist in Count Basie's orchestra which earned her an historic contract as the first female vocalist signed to Blue Note, an association that yielded five albums and several singles.