It may have been relatively late in Jimmy Rushing's career when he recorded two albums for ABC/BluesWay (Every Day I Have the Blues and Livin' the Blues, both of which are reissued in full on this single CD), but he was still in prime singing voice. Joined by such friends as trombonist Dickie Wells, trumpeter Clark Terry, and tenor saxophonist Buddy Tate, Rushing shows that he was still relevant on such blues-based songs as "Berkeley Campus Blues," "Blues in the Dark," "I Left My Baby," "Sent for You Yesterday," and "We Remember Prez." Even with Oliver Nelson's arrangements on the first half and an electric rhythm section on the second, both Rushing and the musicians play off each other well, resulting in a swinging set.
An '87 recording of prototype Ponder; soul jazz and blues played with energy and a slick, yet resourceful conviction. Ponder has never gotten the profile or the exposure he deserves; he doesn't use gimmicks or crank up the volume, but his tasty fills, clever riffs, and crisp, bluesy solos are always worthwhile.
For this superlative outing in the legendary series of Jimmy Smith Blue Note jam sessions, the innovative organist is teamed with trumpeter Blue Mitchell, altoist Jackie McLean, tenor saxophonist Ike Quebec, and his regular sidemen (guitarist Quentin Warren and drummer Donald Bailey). The two-fer features Open House and Plain Talk, both of which were recorded the same day. Four standards alternate with blues and Smith originals. The musicians all seem to be inspired by each other's presence, making this a highly recommended set for straight-ahead jazz collectors.
For this 1957 studio session, the two distinctive but complementary guitarists Kenny Burrell and Jimmy Raney are teamed up in a septet with trumpeter Donald Byrd, altoist Jackie McLean, pianist Mal Waldron, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Art Taylor. The full group gets to stretch out on one original each by Watkins and McLean ("Little Melonae") and three from Waldron, while the two standards ("Close Your Eyes" and "Out of Nowhere") are individual features for Burrell and Raney. This is a well-rounded set that may not contain any real surprises, but will be enjoyed by collectors of hard bop.