Buddy Guy today remains one of the true international superstars of the Blues. One of his musically most glorious periods was the three classic albums he cut for JSP Records ("D.J. Play My Blues" "Breaking Out" and "Live at the Checkerboard Lounge") and the guesting on brother Phil Guy's wonderful debut album "Red Hot Blues". This compilation features some of the best cuts from that period and those albums. Buddy plays some hot guitar here and is stylistically moving forward from his sixties stuff to the ultra commercial things of today. Buddy always knew that the world would catch up eventually and he would become a superstar - the music here will tell you why.
An intensely powerful singer and guitarist, Elmore James did not start his recording career until he was 33, and he only lived to be 45, but he made a very strong impact during his dozen years on records. Some of his finest work was cut for the Fire label during 1959-1961, roughly half of which is included on this single CD. Other than a final outburst of selections during February 1963, these were James' last studio sessions, and he is heard at the peak of his powers throughout. Among the best-known performances are the hit "Shake Your Moneymaker," "The Sky Is Crying," and a remake of his famous "Dust My Broom," but all 16 selections are full of passion and fire. This is an essential acquisition for blues collectors, at least until a more complete James on Fire reissue comes out.
This single-CD compilation doesn't do too much more than scratch the surface of the band's sound at its most popular points, but it does do one thing that no prior Moody Blues compilation ever did – it includes "Go Now," which, as the notes point out, is still the group's top-charting single in England. What it doesn't do is get "Go Now" in really good sound (no one seems to have a proper master source) or include their even better follow-up single, "From the Bottom of My Heart."
For those needing a reminder of Cole's very original and expert piano playing, this 18-track roundup of some of his best instrumentals should fit the bill. Part of Capitol's three-volume series of Cole's classic trio sides (the other two cover the vocals), The Best of the Nat King Cole Trio includes gem after gem from the group's 1943-1949 prime and features the classic lineup that included guitarist Oscar Moore and bassist Johnny Miller. With Cole and Moore seamlessly blending lines throughout, the group forged the standard for many a piano trio to follow by way of classics like "Jumpin' at Capitol," "Sweet Georgia Brown," and "These Foolish Things"…
This 19-track compilation focuses on Elmore James' crucial sessions recorded for the Modern Records subsidiaries Meteor and Flair between 1952 and 1956. At the time of these recordings, the distorted amplified sound of James' slide guitar with his unmistakable electrified Robert Johnson lick was helping map out the postwar blues idiom with such classics as "I Believe," "Blues Before Sunrise," "Wild About You," "Mean & Evil," and the extraordinary reworking of Robert Johnson's "Dust My Broom" into "Dust My Blues." Even though roughly half of these tracks appear on the equally recommended 1986 Ace release Let's Cut It: The Very Best of Elmore James, this set is a great introduction to the dynamic slide guitarist's earliest recordings.
Along time ago, I bought this LP from "The Moody Blues", because it appears the original single "Nights In White Satin".
The issue of the best of Bobby Womack's "The Poet" trilogy that was released in the first half of the 1980's on the independent Beverly Glen label. The soul legend had reinvented his entire sound structure, instead opting for a light jazz feel that was quite popular at that time. The second volume of the series featured several duets with Patti Labelle, which helped prompt A&R at MCA to sign her up at the end of her Philly International tenure. The second disc of this set features acoustic versions from the trilogy as well. Best Of The Poets album Featured players on these sessions include George Benson, Nathan East, Womack & Womack, The Crusaders' Wilton Felder, The Waters, Paulinho da Costa and many more.
With a career as illustrious as the Moody Blues, it's difficult to group together all their best material on a single disc, but Legend of a Band acts as a brief yet pleasant jaunt through some of their most popular work. While some of their early material is deemed slightly progressive because of lengthy keyboard suites and instrumental runs, it wasn't until the mid- to late '70s that their music began to take a more rock & roll-oriented path.
Mirroring his onetime boss and mentor Miles Davis' own protean output, Herbie Hancock has explored hard bop, soul-jazz, fusion, funk-rock, soundtracks, hip-hop-inflected pop ("Rockit"), and many permutations in between. His early work for Blue Note, though, offers the best entrée for newcomers. Compiled from five of his albums for the label and covering a period from 1962-1968, this fine sampler includes highlights from his debut, Takin' Off ("Watermelon Man"), the classic Maiden Voyage (the title track and "Dolphin Dance"), and the early electric album Speak Like a Child (the title track and "Riot"). Add to this more indelible cuts like "Cantaloupe Island" and "One Finger Snap," not to mention the presence of numerous '60s jazz luminaries (Dexter Gordon, Freddie Hubbard, Thad Jones, Hank Mobley, Billy Higgins, et al.), and you have perfect way to get a taste of some of the best modern jazz committed to wax.