Guitarist Lenny Breau's short life (1941-1984) is a movie waiting to be made. Before his still unsolved murder, he was able to bring a new voice to the guitar by adapting country fingerpicking technique to the intricacies of modern jazz. A Breau hallmark was his highly developed ability to play bass, chords and single notes concurrently - in effect having a trio in his right hand. The newly re-released Complete Living Room Tapes, with clarinetist Brad Terry, is a 2-CD close look at Breau in peak form, circa 1979. It contains four new bonus tracks and presents a comprehensive picture of his influences and virtuosity.
This two-fer combines two of trumpeter/flügelhornist Clark Terry's albums for the Impulse! label: 1964's The Happy Horns of Clark Terry and 1967's It's What's Happenin'. Generally considered one of Terry's best '60s outings, The Happy Horns of Clark Terry is a jaunty, swinging affair that finds Terry joined by such names as saxophonists Phil Woods and Ben Webster, bassist Milt Hinton, and others. Featuring a lively take on Duke Ellington's "Rockin' in Rhythm," Bix Beiderbecke's "In a Mist," and even an Ellington medley, the album is a must-hear for Terry fanatics.
Terry & the Pirates were led by guitarist/singer Terry Dolan, a Connecticut native who relocated to San Francisco during the area's notorious Summer of Love in 1965. John Cipollina was a member from the early 70's on. Terry & the Pirates remained together until 1989, until the death of Cipollina spelled the end of the group for a while.
Thelonious Monk, in addition to all his other notable qualities, was actually one of Riverside's most valuable talent scouts, recommending such mainstays as Johnny Griffin and Wilbur Ware, and introducing the label to Sonny Rollins and Clark Terry. The astoundingly adept trumpeter was always greatly appreciated by Thelonious, who quickly accepted the invitation to accompany Terry on this occasion. It was an album full of firsts and rarities: Monk's only Riverside appearance as a sideman; the first of Terry's many recordings on flugelhorn; the first of a great many Riverside dates for the great bassist Sam Jones; and the only occasion on which Monk and drummer Philly Joe Jones recorded together.