This set came about, in part, as a result of Ellington's signing to Frank Sinatra's Reprise label in November 1962, with the ending of his exclusive contract to Columbia. Six numbers from the three Paris dates were initially edited and released by Reprise as part of the ten-song Duke Ellington's Greatest Hits, but the bulk of the performances from those shows didn't surface until many years later as The Great Paris Concert on two LPs.
Mingus Dynasty, like its predecessor and Columbia companion Mingus Ah Um, was recorded in 1959, a watershed year for the insuperable, eruptive bassist-composer Charles Mingus. Leading what amounted to a repertory company comprising some of New York's best and most creative improvisers, Mingus musically challenged two ensembles (a tentet and a nonet that includes two cellos) as they never had been challenged before.
"The best of pianist Horace Tapscott's recordings for the tiny Nimbus label is this 1981 LP which features him in a sextet with trumpeter Reggie Bullen, altoist Gary Bias, tenor saxophonist Sabir Matteen, bassist Roberto Miranda and drummer Everett Brown, Jr. The group stretches out on a couple of Tapscott's originals plus a 19½-minute version of Linda Hill's"Dem Folks." Although the music could be called avant-garde, its use of rhythms and repetition keep the results from being forbidding and the performances have a momentum of their own."
When this two-LP set was initially released in January 1971, Canned Heat was back to its R&B roots. Sporting a slightly revised personnel with the return of Henry “Sunflower” Vestine and the incorporation of Antonio “Tony” de la Barreda on bass, a highly skilled constituent of Aldolfo de la Parra on drums. Sadly, it would also be the final effort to include co-founder Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson, who passed away in September 1970. Hooker ’n Heat (1971) is a low-key affair split between unaccompanied solo John Lee Hooker tunes, collaborations between Hooker and Wilson, as well as five full-blown confabs between Hooker and Heat.
"A two-LP set on Theresa, Rejoice features Pharoah Sanders in excellent form in 1981. Sanders sounds much more mellow than he had a decade earlier, often improvising in a style similar to late-'50s John Coltrane, particularly on "When Lights Are Low," "Moments Notice," and "Central Park West." The personnel changes on many of the selections and includes such top players as pianists Joe Bonner and John Hicks, bassist Art Davis, drummers Elvin Jones and Billy Higgins, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, trombonist Steve Turre, trumpeter Danny Moore, a harpist, and (on "Origin" and "Central Park West") five vocalists. The music always holds one's interest, making this one of Sanders' better later recordings." Scott Yanow/AMG
Friends is the accurate and revealing title for New York Bluesman Eric Bibb's tenth album since 1997. The cuts here feature rootsy folk and blues collaborations with different 'friends' in differering small group settings. The set starts with a killer accoustic slide duet between Bibb and Guy Davis on the nugget '99 1/2 Won't Do'. The control between Davis' sweet and smoky delivery and Bibb's husky wail - akin to Blind Willie Johnson's in places - offers a double-sided dimension in interpretation for the listener, as well.
Keb’ Mo’s self-titled debut is an edgy, ambitious collection of gritty country blues. Keb’ Mo’ pushes into new directions, trying to incorporate some of the sensibilites of the slacker revolution without losing touch of the tradition that makes the blues the breathing, vital art form it is. His attempts aren’t always successful, but his gutsy guitar playing and impassioned vocals, as well as his surprisingly accomplished songwriting, make Keb’ Mo’ a debut to cherish.
Why didn`t this girl get the recognition she deserves?There are some absolutely wonderful songs on this album and even better vocal performances that few have come close to. The collection is slightly jazz tinged but don’t let that put you off.
Stereo Recording Natural light by Eric Bibb is as strong as his previous efforts and produced once again by his longtime bassist Dave Bronze. Eric's voice and guitar playing shines all over whether he's doing a solo acoustic number as in Champagne Habits and the beautiful Lucky Man' Rag where he is joined by a wasboard player, or in the full band numbers such as the cover of the sixties Jackie Wilson hit Higher and Higher.
STEREO RECORDINGAfter the shaky start of Green Is Blues, Al Green and producer Willie Mitchell established their classic sound with Green's second album, Gets Next to You. The main difference is in the rhythm section. Abandoning the gritty syncopations of deep Southern soul, the Hi Rhythm Section plays it slow and seductive, working a sultry, steady pulse that Green exploits with his remarkable voice. Alternating between Sam Cooke's croon and Otis Redding's shout, Green develops his own distinctive style, and Gets Next to You only touches the surface of its depth. Although the album is filled with wonderful moments, few are as astonishing as Green and Mitchell's reinterpretation of the Temptations' "I Can't Get Next to You," which turns the original inside out. Stephen Thomas Erlewine /AMG
From its opening bars, with Bill Salter's bass and Rahsaan's flute passionately playing Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine", you know this isn't an ordinary Kirk album (were any of them?). As the string section, electric piano, percussion, and Cornel Dupree's guitar slip in the back door, one can feel the deep soul groove Kirk is bringing to the jazz fore here.