A compilation of two Pacific Jazz LPs (# 9 and 15), recorded in 1953 and 1954. The earlier session features Chet with Jack Montrose (tenor sax) Herb Geller (alto sax) and Bob Gordon (baritone sax), and every tune on the session is a knockout. Especially wonderful are "Bockhanal" (in 2 takes) and "Headline"; both swing like crazy. The later session has Montrose again with Bill Holman (tenor sax) Bob Brookmeyer (trombone) and Bud Shank (baritone sax). Here the standout tracks are "The half dozens," "Stella by starlight," and "Dot's groovy."
Chet Baker & Crew : The Forum Theatre Recordings. Sometimes known as the Prince of Cool and the James Dean of jazz, Chet Baker was one of the most popular and controversial jazz musicians. He was the primary exponent of West Coast school of cool jazz (that was in early and mid-1950s). As a trumpeter, he had an intimate and romantic style of playing music, and attracted a lot of attention beyond jazz, mainly because of his movie star looks. Baker earned much attention and critical praise through the 1950s, particularly for albums featuring his vocals (Chet Baker Sings, It Could Happen to You). Jazz historian Dave Gelly described the promise of Baker's early career as "James Dean, Sinatra, and Bix, rolled into one." His well-publicized drug habit also drove his notoriety and fame. Baker was in and out of jail frequently before enjoying a career resurgence in the late 1970s and '80s.
With the future of the original Alice Cooper band in doubt by mid-1974 (they would soon break up for good with Alice going solo), Warner Bros. decided to issue a best-of compilation entitled Greatest Hits. If you're a newcomer to Alice, this 12-track compilation is a must-hear – all the selections are exceptional. While many have chosen to focus primarily on Cooper's theatrics over the years, the original bandmembers were indeed supreme rock songwriters; such anthems as "I'm Eighteen," "Under My Wheels," "School's Out," and "No More Mr. Nice Guy" are unquestionably among the finest hard rock tracks of all time. And the other selections prove to be just as strong – "Is It My Body," "Desperado," "Be My Lover," "Elected," "Billion Dollar Babies," and "Muscle of Love" are all outstanding as well. The only criticism of the original release is that the collection overlooked the band's key album tracks never issued as singles.