Altoist Phil Woods took a rare vacation from playing with his regular group to collaborate with pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist George Mraz and drummer Kenny Washington on this fine straight-ahead quartet date. The 13 selections are fairly concise (clocking in between 3-7 minutes apiece) and most of the material (other than "Canadian Sunset," "Yours Is My Heart Alone," "Blue and Sentimental" and Bill Evans' classic "Waltz for Debby") consists of either obscurities or recent originals. A special bonus is that Woods plays his appealing clarinet on three numbers. Highlights include "Charles Christopher" (a tribute to Charlie Parker), "Butter" and Hal Galper's "Just Us."
A Winter Romance is perhaps best described as a "seasonal" album rather than a Christmas or holiday release, despite the inclusion of such familiar fare as "White Christmas" and "Winter Wonderland." Dean Martin has also included such standards as "The Things We Did Last Summer" and "June in January," as well as some specially written material such as Sammy Cahn and Ken Lane's title song and "It Won't Cool Off." Nevertheless, with its lush strings, well-scrubbed vocal choruses, and buoyant mood, this collection has an appropriately festive feel. Martin does a competent job, even having fun here and there when the song allows him to present his take on a similar baritone…
Japanese original release. First box set of Andy Williams includes seven original albums "Canadian Sunset," "To You Sweetheart, Aloha," "Moon River and Other Great Movie Themes," "Days of Wine and Roses and Other TV Requests," "The Wonderful World of Andy Williams," "The Academy Award-Winning Call Me Irresponsible and Other Hit Songs from the Movies," and "The Great Songs from "My Fair Lady" and Other Broadway Hits" plus a bonus disc with Japanese version(s) of songs, rare tracks, and more. Features remastering and cardboard sleeve faithfully replicating its US LP jacket design. Comes with lyrics and a description.
Grammy Award-winning acoustic guitarist Earl Klugh is releasing a new ensemble recording, The Spice of Life, April 29th, on Koch Records. The album is being described as Klugh's “first full-production release in nine years,” and is the follow-up to 2005’s Naked Guitar, which brought Klugh his eleventh career Grammy nomination. On the album, Klugh reinterprets four of his favorite standards and longtime collaborator Don Sebesky contributes five orchestral arrangements, including Klugh’s boyhood favorite “Canadian Sunset”; his reinterpretation of the Thelonious Monk classic, “Bye Ya”; and a revival of “C’est Si Bon.” Flutist Hubert Laws guests, and composer Eddie Horst arranges the chamber-group string accompaniment on the Klugh original “Heart of My Life.” The Spice of Life also features several Klugh originals. The project is said to incorporate all of the veteran instrumentalist's musical influences, from pop and soul to jazz and gospel, as well as different musical settings.