Very nice set of Mingus' legendary Candid recordings – produced in 1960, after Mingus angrily departed Columbia records, and was finally given the freedom to work in the way that he wanted. The recordings are some of Mingus best – and they feature a righteous anger and sheer jazz power that's unmatched by few other recordings.
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown was 74 when he recorded American Music, Texas Style, and the Texas bluesman made it clear that he still had plenty of energy. On this CD, Brown really emphasizes his love of jazz. Young hard bop players like trumpeter Nicholas Payton and alto saxman Wes Anderson are on board, and the veteran singer/guitarist offers no less than three standards from Duke Ellington's repertoire ("I'm Beginning to See the Light," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," and son Mercer Ellington's "Things Ain't What They Used to Be") and two classics from Charlie Parker's years with Jay McShann ("Hootie Blues," "Jumpin' the Blues"). Meanwhile, the jazz influence is hard to miss on such fast jump blues as "Rock My Blues Away" and "Without Me Baby." Brown's voice is thinner than it used to be, but his guitar playing is as energetic as ever. While this CD isn't definitive, it's a good, solid effort that Brown can be proud of.