The original Chico Hamilton Quintet was one of the last significant West Coast jazz bands of the cool era. Consisting of Buddy Collette on reeds (flute, clarinet, alto, and tenor), guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Carson Smith, and the drummer/leader, the most distinctive element in the group's identity was cellist Fred Katz. The band could play quite softly, blending together elements of bop and classical music into their popular sound and occupying their own niche. This six-CD, limited-edition box set from 1997 starts off with a Hamilton drum solo from a 1954 performance with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet; it contains three full albums and many previously unreleased numbers) by the original Chico Hamilton band and also has quite a few titles from the second Hamilton group (which has Paul Horn and John Pisano in the places of Collette and Hall).
8-CD box (LP-size) with 47-page book, 137 tracks. Playing time approx. 725 mns. The third German Jazz Festival in 1955 was a four-day event that featured nearly 30 groups and soloists. It was recorded by Deutsche Grammophon for release on Brunswick, but only parts of it were released on long-deleted EPs. The complete tapes survived though. The 1954 festival was also recorded, but only the portion issued on an EP was saved. Now the surviving portion of the 1954 festival and the entire 1955 festival are issued complete by Bear Family on eight CDs.
One of the finest European jazz pianists of all time, Martial Solal (a unique stylist) has never received as much recognition in the U.S. as he deserves. Born in Algiers to French parents, Solal has been based in Paris since the late '40s. Although a modernist, he was flexible enough to record an album with Sidney Bechet in 1957 and make other records with Django Reinhardt, Don Byas, and Lucky Thompson. Solal has been primarily heard with his own trios through the years although he has recorded several notable albums with Lee Konitz.
The first of a series of excellent recordings that he made for Emarcy in the 1950s, all of which have been reissued by Emarcy in Japan. Other than four titles from a year before, this LP contains altoist Herb Geller's first recordings as a leader. Cut during a period when Herb was based in Los Angeles and regularly working with his wife, the talented but short-lived pianist Lorraine Geller, the music also has either Curtis Counce or Leroy Vinnegar on bass and Lawrence Marable or Eldridge Freeman on drums. Herb Geller was already in his early prime and contributed six originals. The band also performs one of Lorraine's tunes, plus five standards, all in swinging and boppish style. This LP (which has not been reissued lately) is well worth searching for.
Arthur Gunter, a seemingly obscure blues singer will never be forgotten because he holds a unique place in American pop history. His first recording, 'Baby Let's Play House' in 1954 for Excello Records of Nashville became one of the first recordings by Elvis Presley. This is the first time both sides of his Excello singles have been collected together in chronological order and the quality of these sessions are all exciting and typical of the kind of blues popular in the south.
Listen to the sounds of Arthur Gunter and wonder at the impression it must have had on the young Elvis Presley - stunning by all accounts. This collection is a must for blues and R&B fans.
An excellent budget compilation of the wonderful Bethlehem Records label - what a roster of artists they had. Very good sound too. The Bethlehem label focused on jazz releases, and this set collects some great examples of jazz–vocally and instrumentally–between the years 1958-62. One look at the artists on this 60 track 2 CD set shows how many fine artists released music on the label. Like other collections from One Day Music, there's no booklet, only a short paragraph about the label and a few of the featured artists. The digitally remastered sound is good overall within the limits of recording styles of the era.
This release compiles all of Rudy Braff’s recordings for the Bethlehem label for the first time ever on a single set. While the original EP and LP editions had incomplete sessions or combined tunes from different dates, the music is presented here with the complete sessions in chronological order a version of “You Can Depend on Me” and an entire quintet sessions fronted by Braff and Bud Freeman appear here for the first time ever on CD. The album The Rudy Braff Special (Vanguard VRS8504), from the same period, has been added as a bonus in its entirety.
The Capitol Years is a 1998 box set by the American singer Frank Sinatra. This set was originally assembled by EMI, Capitol's sister company in the United Kingdom. The set contains 21 CDs featuring every album that Sinatra authorized for release between 1953 and 1961 (save for Frank Sinatra Conducts Tone Poems of Color and A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra), remastered in state-of-the-art 20-bit digital audio. Each CD contains an individual Sinatra Capitol LP (including singles compilations), but the bonus tracks from the American versions appear on a separate CD here as The Rare Sinatra. The sound quality on this box is arguably superior to American remasters, also produced in 1998 for eight of Sinatra's key albums in the United States.