"Tee" in Tee & Company is the nickname of Three Blind Mice's founder and producer Takeshi Fujii, who formed the all-star group of eight top Japanese jazz musicians in 1977 for a series of concerts and seven days of studio recording that produced three separate albums. This supergroup included who's who of the Japanese jazz scene: Kenji Mori and Takao Uematsu on saxophones, Masaru Imada on piano, Masayuki Takayanagi on guitar, Hideto Kanai on bass, Nobuyoshi Ino on electric bass, Hiroshi Murakami on drums and Yuji Imamura on percussion. Fujii and the musicians at the time were pursuing jazz as a new art form and not just as commercial entertainment. This is an important historic document of the energy that jazz had in Japan in the late 1970s!
Van Halen is an American rock band formed in Pasadena, California in 1974. They have enjoyed success since the release of their debut album Van Halen (1978). As of 2007, Van Halen has sold 80 million albums worldwide and have had the most number-one hits on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart…
There are many apocryphal stories in the classical-music world, but the one in which Frederick the Great challenged Bach to improvise a six-part fugue on a theme of the king's own invention is true, and The Musical Offering was, after a period of further reflection, the result. As with all the works of Bach's later years, the work is both great art and a "teaching piece," which shows everything that he thought could be done with the king's theme. The Trio Sonata based on the theme is the only major piece of chamber music from Bach's last decades in Leipzig, and that makes the work and essential cornerstone of any Bach collection. This performance, led by Neville Marriner, is both polished and lively, and very well recorded. At a "twofer" price, coupled with The Art of Fugue, it's the preferred version of the work on modern instruments.
During the whole of their Creative period (1974-1976) the duo with by Bernd Töberg (guitar) and Michael Kullick (drums) was strongly shaped by the "Freedom of Coltrane". With this particular style of jazz, to make the total improvisation as the heart of their work, it was the exceptional duo's first time to explore further a random harmony instrument. The high art of improvisation, and the dense congenial interplay of guitar and drums, that comes along thematically most melodic and rhythmic, has been able to unite in a progressive fashion, modern jazz, rock, blues and free improvisation itself. By mid-1976, however, the duo had taken on a musical change…
"Greatest Hits" is the first greatest hits album by singer/songwriter Barry Manilow, released in 1978. The album was certified 3x platinum in the US, and would be Manilow's last of that certification as of 2010. It also features the new single, "Ready to Take a Chance Again", which reached #11 in the US the same year.
Riccardo Chailly was born into a musical family in Milan. He studied at the conservatories in Milan and Perugia and received specialized training in conducting from Franco Ferrara at his Siena summer courses. At the age of 20, Chailly became assistant conductor to Claudio Abbado at Milan’s La Scala. He made his opera debut there in 1978 and was soon in great demand at the world’s leading opera houses and concert halls.
With Rain Dances, Camel began exploring shorter, more concise songs, but it wasn't until its follow-up, Breathless, that they truly made a stab at writing pop songs. Although they didn't completely abandon improvisational prog rock – there are several fine, jazzy interludes – most of the record is comprised of shorter songs designed for radio play. While the group didn't quite achieve that goal, Breathless is nevertheless a more accessible record than Camel's other albums, which tend to focus on instrumentals. Here, they try to be a straightforward prog rock band, and while the results are occasionally a little muddled, it is on the whole surprisingly successful.