Dave King has been lauded as the firebrand drummer and co-composer behind the groundbreaking Bad Plus trio. His interest in various musical styles and situations has found him active in contemporary jazz, rock, electronic music and progressive improvisation based ensembles. But for all his divergent interests, King has remained a student and practitioner in the jazz drumming tradition. On his new Sunnyside record I’ve Been Ringing You, King realized his desire to create a modern jazz recording using straight ahead and avant-garde tendencies built off of the jazz tradition he has held so dear.
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My Kind of Blues was originally released in late 1960 on the budget label Crown. On this session, B.B. King dropped the smooth big band sound of his previous release, B.B. King Wails, to an instrumentally stripped-down unit of bass, drums, piano, and, of course, his beloved guitar Lucille. This date took one day to record and is said to be one of King's personal favorites. Any of B.B. King's early Crown releases are essential, and considering that the 2003 Ace reissues feature previously unissued bonus tracks and midline pricing, these are the ones to grab. According to the liner notes, these bonus tracks are included for being "small combo tracks that continue the traditional blues theme, and allow plenty of space for B.B.'s guitar." Unfortunately, recording dates for these aren't given, but they do include five previously unissued tracks from his Modern sessions, as well as an undubbed version of "Looking the World Over"; an overdubbed version of "Walking Dr. Bill"; and a previously unissued take of "Hold That Train..
Nat King Cole's album 10th Anniversary proved to be an interesting watershed in his career. First finding fame as a popular jazz pianist leading a trio, Cole gradually added more and more vocals until he had pretty much left jazz behind for a full-time career as a singer. This compilation, issued on LP in 1955, drew from unreleased recordings from both his jazz and easy listening sessions. One can hear Cole's growth as a singer in his jazz tracks, scatting a bit in his "Lulubelle," though it is his impressive piano that dominates another original, "I'm an Errand Boy for Rhythm." "Peaches" is a rather pedestrian affair with the heavy-handed bongos of Jack Costanzo proving to be more of a distraction than a benefit. The easy listening vocals are a mixed bag. "Too Soon" is overwhelmed by Nelson Riddle's strings, though Dave Cavanaugh's campy Western satire "Rough Ridin'" fares better. Liner note writer James Ritz sings praises for Les Baxter's scoring of the ballad "The Story of My Wife," though the bland arrangement and melody bring to mind the prevailing attitude among other arrangers of the '50s ("The less Baxter, the better!").