An excellent collection of rare material by this fantastic modernist piano player! The record compiles rare recordings from the years 1951 to 1966, including a few excellent solo recordings that stand as essential gems from his underrecorded career. Titles include "Ju Ju", "Pastime", "Stretch", "Dream: Paris 1965", and "Descent Into The Maelstrom". (Great Japanese pressing!) This hard-to-find LP starts off with the utterly unique title cut. On this completely atonal track (which predates Cecil Taylor by a few years), Lennie Tristano overdubbed several pianos and created picturesque and extremely intense music.
Ray Charles' seminal recordings for Atlantic have been boxed once before, as the triple-disc 1991 set The Birth of Soul. That box contained 53 tracks, the best moments of what is arguably the best period of Charles' career, but Rhino/Atlantic's 2005 seven-disc sequel, Pure Genius, doesn't bother with merely the highlights: as its subtitle makes clear, this is The Complete Atlantic Recordings (1952-1959). This is undeniably a major historical release, since it gathers all of the recordings Charles made at his creative peak, not just as a leader, but as a sideman for his saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman and sides he recorded with jazz vibraphonist Milt Jackson.
2007 GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING BEST TRADITIONAL BLUES ALBUM OF THE YEAR HISTORY IN THE MAKING Once in a lifetime you may experience a brief moment when the stars align and something truly extraordinary happens. This was the case in October 2004, when four of the greatest living blues legends were assembled in Dallas, Texas for one incomparable night of music. At the time they ranged in age from 89 to 94 and all had received the National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship Award, the highest honor in the USA for traditional arts. These musicians have devoted their entire life to playing the blues, and staging such an epic event was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Once reunited, the old magic reemerged. It was if they were long lost school buddies.