is the second studio album by American singer , released in 1978. The album spawned two singles, a soul ballad and the up-tempo track which became a #1 dance hit in the USA and Canada.
An excellent budget compilation of the wonderful Bethlehem Records label - what a roster of artists they had. Very good sound too. The Bethlehem label focused on jazz releases, and this set collects some great examples of jazz–vocally and instrumentally–between the years 1958-62. One look at the artists on this 60 track 2 CD set shows how many fine artists released music on the label. Like other collections from One Day Music, there's no booklet, only a short paragraph about the label and a few of the featured artists. The digitally remastered sound is good overall within the limits of recording styles of the era.
From a label with no shortage of first-rate jazz material come this very attractive vocal sampler. Staying true to the Compact Jazz ethos, Best of the Jazz Vocalists favors quality over hits and comes with a budget price tag. The majority of songs are from the label's prime '50s and '60s run, including a cloud-bound "Summertime" by Helen Merrill and one of the all-time great versions of "If You Could See Me Now," compliments of Billy Eckstine. Continuing with this balancing act between the sexes, the collection also includes fine work by Bill Henderson, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Abbey Lincoln, Jon Hendricks, Shirley Horn, and Anita O'Day; latter-day entries include Lincoln's "I've Got Thunder and It Rings" from her 1990 Verve debut and Horn's "I Got Lost in His Arms" from 1988's Close Enough for Love. Nicely wrapped up with Nina Simone's Afro-percussion clarion call "Come Ye," this Verve roundup works as the perfect primer for more adventurous trips through the label's fertile stores of essential jazz.
Under the watchful eye of famed producer Michael Cuscuna, this nine-CD set serves as a compilation of Stitt's 1950s and 1960s Roost LPs. This release also features a 28-page booklet consisting of comprehensively annotated liners. Moreover, the record label does its best to convey the artistic element via a series of black-and-white photos of Stitt and his sidemen amid anecdotes by many of the late saxophonist's affiliates. Interestingly enough, seven of the original LPs did not list personnel. In some instances, guesses were made, although most of these tracks are well-documented, thanks to the producer's diligence and painstaking research. Artists such as drummer Roy Haynes, bassist/composer Charles Mingus, and pianist Harold Maber represent but a few of Stitt's accompanists.
Smokin' at the Half Note is essential listening for anyone who wants to hear why Montgomery's dynamic live shows were considered the pinnacle of his brilliant and incredibly influential guitar playing. Pat Metheny calls this "the absolute greatest jazz guitar album ever made," and with performances of this caliber ("Unit 7" boasts one of the greatest guitar solos ever recorded) his statement is easily validated. Montgomery never played with more drive and confidence, and he's supported every step of the way by a genuinely smokin' Wynton Kelly Trio.
Although tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon seemed to have been largely forgotten in the U.S. during his long residence in Europe, he was playing in prime form during the period and made occasional trips back to America. On this CD reissue, Gordon teams up with pianist Wynton Kelly (one of his last recordings), bassist Sam Jones and drummer Roy Brooks for an obscure original ("Evergreenish"), "The Jumpin' Blues," the veteran ballad "For Sentimental Reasons" and three songs that were long a part of Gordon's repertoire: "Star Eyes," "Rhythm-A-Ning" and "If You Could See Me Now." Dexter Gordon is in fine form on the excellent straightahead bop set.