The Complete Album Collection is Paul Simon's Complete Recorded Works – minus Simon & Garfunkel, of course, along with "Slip Sliding Away" – and, as a whole, it is a mightily impressive body of work, showcasing an artist who remains restless and curious four decades into his career. The package is handsome, presenting each CD as a mini-LP, the sound is terrific, the price is affordable, and the scope is complete, so The Complete Album Collection is in every way an upgrade over the previous The Complete Studio Recordings.
The third of three volumes chronicling Pepper's complete Aladdin recordings, Blue Note's Art of Pepper, Vol. 3 finds the West Coast alto saxophonist in top form over the course of 12 stunning cuts. Recorded in 1957, the set takes in both Pepper originals ("Holiday Flight," "Surf Ride") and choice standards ("Long Ago and Faraway," "Without a Song"). There's also a fine cover of the rare Bud Powell cut "Webb City." Topped off with excellent work by pianist Carl Perkins, bassist Ben Tucker, and drummer Chuck Flores, this collection is a must-have for all Pepper fans.
Though billed as a Paul Simon anthology, Sony's 19-song Ultimate Collection features nearly as much Simon & Garfunkel material as it does his solo work. Ranging from the duo's early-'60s breakthrough folk hit "The Sound of Silence" to Simon's 1990 percussive, Latin-flavored single "The Obvious Child," this set is focused largely on the more titanic tracks of his career. Displaying his range equally as a singer ("Still Crazy After All These Years") and a songwriter (the Art Garfunkel-led masterpiece "Bridge Over Troubled Water"), it's difficult to choose highlights, as almost all of these songs are career highlights and many are widely recognized as iconic classics of pop music. While it would be nice to see some representation of Simon's excellent solo releases of the late '90s and early 21st century, it's tough to argue with the selections offered here.
Do you dream of exploring the masterpieces of the Louvre Museum in Paris? Whether you're planning your first visit to this world-class museum, returning for a second look, or simply playing the role of armchair art critic, you'll enjoy the pleasures that await you in this tour of France's greatest treasures.
Concord Music Group will release five new titles in its Original Jazz Classics Remasters series on September 17, 2013. Enhanced by 24-bit remastering by Joe Tarantino, bonus tracks (some previously unreleased), and new liner notes to provide historical context to the originally released material, the series celebrates the 40th anniversary of Pablo Records, the prolific Beverly Hills-based label that showcased some of the most influential jazz artists and recordings of the 1970s and '80s.