Virginians Ralph and Carter Stanley, the Stanley Brothers, took the traditional Appalachian string band songs of their home and updated them into a traditionally rooted modern bluegrass sound that was singular for its authentic tone, no-frills simplicity, and at times haunting and astonishing beauty, the very model of the high lonesome sound. This expansive four-disc, 111-track box covers the later part of the middle period of their recording career, collecting virtually every side the brothers recorded for the King record label between 1961 and 1965. That's a whole lot of Stanley Brothers, but the musical quality, integrity, and execution of this storied duo never waver here, and indeed, they never really did waver one bit any time the two of them stepped in front of the microphones.
This eight-CD set captures Miles Davis's second great quintet at its fiercest, loose with both the blossoming of familiarity between the players and the broadness of its attacks on the mostly well known tunes the group called during two nights at Chicago's Plugged Nickel in 1965. And you can hear it all, from "The Theme" that closed the quintet's sets to multiple, radically different takes of several tunes. Davis formed this band with just its heated potential in mind, opting for youth in Wayne Shorter's tenor sax, Herbie Hancock's piano, Ron Carter's bass, and, especially, Tony Williams's unlocked rhythmic energy.