This 2-CD set truly demonstrates what was defined as the "West Coast style of jazz" but, in fact, was the Shorty Rogers style. We can hear arrangements of a loose variety, played by the most outstanding group of musicians of the Los Angeles jazz scene. The music presented here is a major example of Shorty Rogers' great talent, and a milestone in the orchestral idiom of modern jazz. Shorty's writing and playing were a pretty honest reflection of his own personality. If there was ever an individual to be selected as the head of the West Coast school, it definitely would have been Shorty Rogers.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Shorty Rogers is definitely way up there with this classic album for Atlantic Records – hitting heights that even go beyond his more famous sides for RCA! The groove here is sharp, but also has room for lots of individual flavors too – thanks to different groupings of west coast players who include Bud Shank on alto, Jimmy Giuffre on baritone and tenor, Lou Levy on piano, Shelly Manne on drums, Barney Kessel on guitar, and Pete Candoli, Conte Candoli, Harry Edison, and Don Fagerquist on trumpets! Shorty himself wrote nearly all the tracks on the set – at a point at which he was really hitting his stride as a composer, doing an incredible job of mixing modern ideas and swinging jazz – as you'll hear on cuts that include "Pixieland", "Solarization", "Baklava Bridge", "March Of The Martians", "Moten Swing", and "Wail Of Two Cities".
Original arrangements of Gershwin tunes are rare these days, but that's what you'll hear in this album by Kiri Te Kanawa. Granted, the arrangements sound somewhat dated according to 21st century tastes, but that's what makes them fascinating. These were like nothing anyone else was writing when the George and Ira first brought them to life. Kiri uses a different, somewhat breathier voice than you might be used to on her classical albums, probably not the type of voice Gershwin had in mind, but I think it generally works pretty well.By Dennis Brightwell
Way Back When finds Surman on baritone and soprano saxophones, joined by John Taylor on electric piano, Brian Odgers on electric bass, John Marshall on drums and, on two tracks, alto saxophonist Mike Osborne. This one-day session was, in Surman's words, "a sort of 'farewell' jam session," held before Surman moved to continental Europe to join bassist Barre Phillips and drummer Stu Martin for the groundbreaking free jazz unit known as the Trio.