A capable purveyor of R&B, intimate ballads, or boogie-woogie piano who sang in a high, sweet voice with soul and chutzpah similar to that of Lula Reed, Lil Green or Julia Lee, Viviane Greene made a series of fine little recordings for five different labels in San Francisco and Los Angeles between late 1947 and July 1955. This compilation claims to contain all of her recorded works with the exception of her 1962 Finer Arts material. The most dazzling tracks are without question her instrumentals, for Viviane Greene was a classically trained pianist who developed her chops working steadily at nightclubs in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Denver, Colorado. "The Unfinished Boogie," based upon Franz Schubert's Unfinished Symphony, is dynamite. "Jades of Greene" was named for the pianist's eldest daughter who was taken away by Lupus disease at the tender age of twelve. Claude Debussy's Clair de Lune appears to be the closest that this artist ever came (on record anyway) to realizing her dream of being a classical pianist. Most of the songs heard here are good time R&B entertainment or sultry love songs, some of which draw upon the standard jazz repertoire.
Charlie Parker was a legendary Grammy Award–winning jazz saxophonist who, with Dizzy Gillespie, invented the musical style called bop or bebop. Charlie Parker was born on August 29, 1920, in Kansas City, Kansas. From 1935 to 1939, he played the Missouri nightclub scene with local jazz and blues bands. In 1945 he led his own group while performing with Dizzy Gillespie on the side. Together they invented bebop. In 1949, Parker made his European debut, giving his last performance several years later. He died a week later on March 12, 1955, in New York City.
Pianist Hank Jones' first LP consists of six piano solos from 1947 and four trio numbers (with guitarist Johnny Smith and bassist Ray Brown) from 1953. Particularly on the unaccompanied solos, Jones shows off the influence of Art Tatum, while the trio cuts are more boppish and sometimes recall the King Cole Trio. Excellent music.