This album comprises two original LPs, now available together on CD for the first time. The first 12 tracks come from Patented by Edison, recorded in 1960, and the last 12 are from Sweetenings, recorded two years earlier. Despite the differing personnels on each album, the format is basically the same: mainly short tracks featuring Harry Edison himself, with the other players somewhat in the background. The results might threaten to be samey, except that Edison is always worth hearing, with his judicious choice of notes and his soft, unassertive tone. It is no surprise that Frank Sinatra wanted Harry to be on many of his recordings with Nelson Riddle's orchestra, because the trumpeter could always supply an inimitable touch of sophistication without overpowering the singer.
Reissue with SHM-CD format and new 24bit remastering. The Johnny Smith sound is a wonderful one – not just the sound that he makes with his groundbreaking work on the strings of the guitar, but also the way he records the instrument – which set a new standard in jazz guitar albums, and also helped pave the way for countless generations to come! A date like this is a great example of the standard-setting work that Smith was able to give us in his prime – and the approach slightly updates the Smith guitar sound of the early 50s – clarifying it a bit, but still keeping that great tone right out front – with a group that includes Hank Jones on piano, George Duvivier on bass, and Ed Shaughnessey on drums.
The single most influential album of Western songs in post-World War II American music, Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs touched a whole range of unexpected bases in its own time and has endured extraordinarily well across the ensuing four decades. The longevity of the album's appeal is a result of Marty Robbins' love of the repertory at hand and the mix of his youthful dynamism and prodigious talent that he brought to the recordings, and the use of the best music production techniques of the era. Add to that the presence of a pair of killer original songs that were ready-made singles, "El Paso" and "Big Iron," and a third, "The Master's Call," that was startlingly personal, and the results are well-nigh irresistible.
Despite his very erratic lifestyle, altoist Art Pepper never made a bad record. This collection is better than most. The first four titles team together Pepper with tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh, pianist Ronnie Ball, bassist Ben Tucker, and drummer Gary Frommer for generally intriguing explorations of four standards. One can feel the influence of Lennie Tristano (with Pepper in Lee Konitz's place), although Pepper had his own sound and a more hard-swinging style.
Reissue with SHM-CD format and new 24bit remastering. A very special album from Johnny Smith – one of the few to feature his sublime guitar sound amidst a larger string setting – which only seems to emphasize the moodier, darker tones of his instrument! The album's a lot like his My Dear Little Sweetheart set – and, like that one, it features help from conductor Irv Kostal, as well as violinist Gene Orloff – both artists with the right sort of subtle, understated approach to make sure that Johnny's six strings never get lost in the larger swirl! Most tunes are very slow-moving, which allows us to hear that Smith guitar magic in full relief – that special way that Johnny had of choosing just the right notes and colors, in just the right way.
Reissue with SHM-CD format and new 24bit remastering. One of the most obscure Johnny Smith albums for Roost – and one of the most striking, too! The album takes the sound of Johnny's guitar and backs it with some larger arrangements from Irwin Kostal – very mellow, and very string-laden – with a dreamy late nite quality that's even moodier than that of Johnny's small combo records. There's an eerie mood to the set that really grabs us, and which seems to deepen even more on repeated listenings (probably enhanced by the painting of a child on the cover – as you'd expect a lady from the "sweetheart" title!)