John Pizzarelli teams with the George Shearing Quintet to reveal their unique musical chemistry on The Rare Delight of You, a 15-track gem filled with the ambience of such great composers as Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, Harry Warren, and the master himself, George Shearing. Pizzarelli, a master of the Great American Songbook, showcases his musical heirlooms – buoyant, loving vocals and quality guitar skills – alongside Shearing's authentic and full-spirited piano savvy with brilliant insight and freedom of expression without exceeding the boundaries of the original compositions. The results are tender, expressive, jazz renderings that resound with taste and class…
The music on The Swingin's Mutual!, a dozen selections featuring the George Shearing Quintet includes six that have vocals by a young Nancy Wilson, and has been reissued on CD by Capitol with five additional tracks. This was one of Wilson's most jazz-oriented dates (even if she was never a jazz singer) and is highlighted by her vocals on "The Nearness of You" and "The Things We Did Last Summer" along with instrumental versions of "Oh! Look at Me Now," "Blue Lou" and "Lullaby of Birdland."
There is a cool and relaxed feeling to this session of "Midnight on CLoud 69" and ethereal quality which sets the tempo and mood of quietude. It is, contrary to the hot and heavy-breathed experience of daily living, and hiatus in which man may forget his tribulations and give vent to his imagination to trail the tail of a cloud as it glides through the dark and empty heavens.
Beatles fans love to explain that the key to the successful partnership of John Lennon and Paul McCartney was their contrasting songwriting personalities – Lennon was the tongue in cheek sardonic wit, McCartney the earnest balladeer. On John Pizzarelli Meets the Beatles, a sharply conceived tribute which sets the duo's classics in a jazz trio with big-band arrangements, the singer/guitarist hits the mark more often when he's taking on the Lennon persona. He approaches "Cant' Buy Me Love," "When I'm 64," and "Get Back" with a playful wink, jumping off his speedy melody lines and the rising brass sections for extended improvisational tradeoffs with pianist Ray Kennedy, and adding colorful touches like scatting and even ad libbing his own lyrical verses based on the originals. Likewise, he attacks the all-instrumental "Eleanor Rigby" with a jumpy, swinging aggression. Pizzarelli, however, becomes overly schmaltzy in presenting ballads like "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" and "Long and Winding Road" too seriously, with maudlin, straightforward arrangements that grind the party to a halt. The one exception is the more percussive "Oh Darling," where his intense vocal helps the tune rise above the hotel lounge mentality.
Of Miles Davis's many bands, none was more influential and popular than the quintet with John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones. Davis's muted ballads and medium-tempo standards endeared him to the public. The horns' searing exposition of classics like "Salt Peanuts" and "Well, You Needn't" captivated musicians. The searching, restless improvisations of Coltrane intrigued listeners who had a taste for adventure. The flawless rhythm section became a model for bands everywhere. Steamin' With The Miles Davis Quintet is, in many respects representative of the total work of the quintet, it affords an excellent opportunity to examine just what this remarkable music was and how it was made. Such chemistry is inexplicable, and so, apparently, is the personality of the man who generated it.
Undeniably one of the best small bands in the history of jazz, the Miles Davis quintet of the mid-1950s made history at the Cafe Bohemia on Manhattan's Barrow Street and in the New Jersey studio of Rudy Van Gelder for Prestige. This is the third in a series of four LPs taped in two marathon studio sessions, done in the style of sets at the Bohemia and producing music of high energy and immediacy. Preceded by Cookin' and Relaxin' , Workin' is a mix of standards and originals, up-tempos and ballads, and a trio number, "Ahmad's Blues." The music this quintet made in the mid-Fifties period will live forever: the excitement of the emerging…
Relaxin' with The Miles Davis Quintet was recorded in 1956, and is considered by many to be among the best performances and recordings of hard bop jazz. This album is a part of the Rudy Van Gelder Remasters series; these albums have been remastered by Rudy Van Gelder (the original session engineer). Recorded May 11 and October 26, 1956 at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey.