Guitarist Jim Hall is the sort of musician who displays such technical expertise, imaginative conception, and elegance of line and phrase that almost any recording of his is worth hearing. Still, Concierto ranks among the best albums of his superb catalog. For starters, the personnel here is a jazz lover's dream come true…
This lyrical, introverted, and sometimes exquisite set of duets by guitarist Jim Hall and bassist Red Mitchell was originally made for John Snyder's Artist House label and later reissued on CD by MHS. Hall and Mitchell always had big ears, and although the music is at a low volume and the duo stretches out on a bit on their four originals, the Mexican folk song "Blue Dove" and "Fly Me to the Moon," there are no sleepy moments.
THE COMPLETE RCA VICTOR RECORDINGS includes the five solo albums Desmond released on RCA's Bluebird imprint in the early 1960s: DESMOND BLUE, TAKE TEN, GLAD TO BE UNHAPPY, BOSSA ANTIGUA and EASY LIVING. Between 1962 and 1964 Paul Desmond , Dave Brubeck's alto saxophonist (and composer of "Take Five"), recorded five remarkable albums for RCA with guitarist Jim Hall. (Listeners might recall that the inimitable Hall also recorded with Sonny Rollins for RCA during the same period.) Luckily, RCA has seen fit to reissue the Desmond-Hall sessions in an attractive 5-CD box. Of these, only the first session, DESMOND BLUE, was arranged for strings. Otherwise it's just Desmond and Hall, a few good bass players and the great MJQ drummer Connie Kay, whom Desmond long revered for his subtle touch.
VOLUME 1 - Jazz Basics is designed for the newcomer to jazz guitar. It covers all of the fundamentals and basic concepts essential for jazz improvisation, and features performances with Satoshi Inoue on guitar. Songs include Big Blues and Whistle Stop. VOLUME 2 - second video is designed for intermediate to advanced guitarists. It introduces varous ideas and methods for practicing improvisation and self-expression, and features performances with Satshi Inoue on guitar. Songs include: Waltz New, Miro, and Seseragi. In VOLUME 3, the Jim Hall Quartet plays original tunes in varous styles, including swing, bossa nova, blues and calypso. Jim analyzes each composition and explains the role of the guitar in different ensemble formats. Features performances with Scott Colley (bass), Andy Watson (drums) and Rasmus Lee (tenor sax). Songs include: Why Not Dance, Joao, Mr. Blues, and Street Dance.
All of King's recordings for the Bobbin label are on this 22-track disc, including everything from his 1959-1963 singles for the label and previously unissued alternate takes of "Why Are You So Mean to Me," "The Time Has Come," and the previously unissued "Blues at Sunrise." While these are decent journeyman urban blues/R&B, they're not up to the level of his subsequent recordings for Stax. Albert King just sounds too much like the records another King – B.B. King, that is – was making during the same era. There are similar horn arrangements and alternation of stinging guitar with smooth, confident vocal phrasing. It's a tribute to Albert King's abilities, in a way, that it does sound confident, and not the work of an imitator, despite the similarities.