Modern Music, the collaborative recording between longtime colleagues and jazz pianists Brad Mehldau and Kevin Hays, and composer and arranger Patrick Zimmerli (a mutual friend of both) is startling for its deep reliance on modern classical technique and arrangements. Certainly, Mehldau is known for dabbling in all sorts of music, from pop to classical on his recordings and in live performance. Hays, too, has branched out in recent years, from his signature, intelligent, hard swinging post-bop approach to include compositions with modern classical touches, such as those found on Piano Works, Vol. III. Zimmerli, who wrote the charts for this session, played saxophone in his younger years.
Pianist/composer/musical director John Lewis, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, drummer Kenny Clarke (later replaced by Connie Kay), and bassist Percy Heath formed the Modern Jazz Quartet in the mid 1950s and were still together in the mid '90s (after a six-year break). The group's popular chamber-jazz sound was informed by Lewis's extensive studies in European compositional techniques. Jackson died in 1999, definitively closing the book on the long-lived, enormously influential quartet.
One of the greatest West Coast jazz LPs of all time! Art Pepper plays beautiful spiralling alto lines with a tight quartet that includes Russ Freeman on piano, Chuck Flores on drums, and Ben Tucker on bass. The whole thing swings in a way that's tough to find on some of Pepper's other albums from the time, and the track list includes "Dianne's Dilemma", "Blues In", "Blues Out", and "Cool Bunny".
This 15-track compilation focuses on the earliest sessions recorded by Etta James for Modern Records between 1955 and 1957. James was only a teenager when she first recorded for the L.A.-based label. Her youthful exuberance and powerhouse delivery still generate that initial excitement captured on these remastered versions of "The Wallflower (Roll with Me Henry)," "The Pick-Up," "W-O-M-A-N," and "Good Rockin' Daddy." This set is a great introduction to James' early raw recordings; however, it excludes a few tracks from the superior The Best of the Modern Years on Metro Blue.
The album "Ready For The Mix" is a double CD release. On two discs were collected unique versions and remixes of the band's hits from the years 1984-2003.
Commemorating the 25th anniversary of Passion and Warfare comes a special 2CD edition of the album which includes the first-ever release of Vai's Modern Primitive songs and recordings. Based on song sketches and works-in-progress penned, and recorded, by Vai following the release of Flex-Able, the artist's debut album, in January 1984, the music on Modern Primitive has been completed by Steve for release as a full album bonus disc in the Passion and Warfare 25th Anniversary Edition. Passion and Warfare 25th Anniversary Edition was remastered from the original ½" Ampex 456 30ips analog master tapes.