"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."
Mono RecordingRecorded after one of McGhee’s not infrequent releases from the Penitentary on narcotics charges, hence the title “The Return Of ….” Howard McGhee is a wonderful agile soloist, a model for the younger Kenny Dorham. Sharing the spotlight with McGhee is Sahib Shihab on baritone sax, what more can you ask?
Stereo RecordingA beautifully recorded session of top quality blues performed by masters of their art. On paper it may look like a slightly odd coupling of KC shouter with a Chicago blues band. The results confirm that Jimmy Witherspoon is a blues singer full of passion and throughout this session all the musicians compliment each other admirably. A beautiful slab of music.
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.
MONO RECORDINGThe premier jazz vocal act of all time, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross revolutionized vocal music during the late '50s and early '60s by turning away from the increasingly crossover slant of the pop world to embrace the sheer musicianship inherent in vocal jazz.
Leo Wright's Atlantic debut, "Blues Shout", effectively summarizes his career as a sideman, embracing the expressionist sensibilities of longtime boss Dizzy Gillespie as well as the Latin inspirations of longtime bandmate Lalo Schifrin to create a fiercely modern and uncommonly impassioned sound all its own.
The 1967 Newport Jazz Festival, fourteenth in a world-famous series, was inexplicably the first at which Lionel Hampton had ever appeared. Better late than never, the great vibist and bandleader came, played and conquered. As the crowd roars ecstatically at the end of this record, the awed but happy voice of producer George Wein is heard: "This hasn’t happened since Duke …" he begins, casting back in his mind to 1956 and the nearest comparable triumph.
Blues guitar simply would not have developed in the manner that it did if not for the prolific brilliance of Lonnie Johnson.He was there to help define the instrument's future within the genre and the genre's future itself at the very beginning, his melodic conception so far advanced from most of his pre-war peers as to inhabit a plane all his own. For more than 40 years, Johnson played blues, jazz, and ballads his way; he was a true blues originator whose influence hung heavy on a host of subsequent blues immortals.
Electric blues guitarist Melvin Taylorhad been sporadically recording solo albums for 20 years when Dirty Pool arrived — and was somehow just beginning to find fame. Already a hit in Europe, it had taken a steady run of performing in Chicago’s famed blues clubs to slowly earn Taylor a well-deserved reputation as an equal talent among the giants before him, such as Otis Rush, Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Although singer Nancy Harrow made a strong impression with this debut recording, she did not lead another record date until 1978 other than a lesser-known effort for Atlantic in 1966. Obviously the years of obscurity were not deserved, for this set is a near-classic. Harrow is heard in her early prime singing such veteran songs as "All Too Soon," "On the Sunny Side of the Street," the seven-minute "Blues for Yesterday," and the title cut (originally done by Ida Cox in the 1920s).