At the age of 71, Johnny Frigo finally had his debut as a leader on record, with the exception of an obscure effort in 1957. Although he had spent much of his career as a studio bassist, Frigo successfully switched full-time to his first love, the violin, and was immediately considered one of the top swing-based violinists. Joined by both Bucky and John Pizzarelli on guitars, either Ron Carter or Michael Moore on bass, and drummer Butch Miles, Frigo is in wonderful form on 14 standards, including "Pick Yourself Up," "Detour Ahead" (which he had co-written while with the Soft Winds in the late '40s), "Stompin' at the Savoy" and "The Song Is You." This recommended CD launched the Chesky label.
Johnny Jewel of Chromatics has announced a new album called Windswept. It features music from the upcoming third season of Twin Peaks, and it’s set to be released May 10, shortly before the show’s Showtime premiere on May 21.
Reissue with SHM-CD format and new 24bit remastering. Johnny Smith really helped bring the sound of jazz guitar to a huge audience in the 50s – and an album like this is a perfect demonstration of his subtle genius on the instrument! At a time when so many others were working the guitar with a hard-edged sound, Smith moves into territory that's even more careful and precise – really making the most of the amplification on the strings, so that his touch can be gentle, but very pointed – allowing for lots of space between the notes, in a way that makes each of them mean even more than they might if strung together in a flurry. The group's a trio – with the bass and drums really giving Johnny a lot of room.
Johnny Winter returns to major-label distribution for the first time in eight years with The Winter of '88, released by Voyager Records via MCA. This is a project produced and engineered by Terry Manning, who also contributed some keyboards, and Manning's intent seems to have been to move Winter in a more commercial direction, specifically toward the synth-enhanced boogie of ZZ Top. That effect is particularly notable on the lead-off track, "Close to Me," and on "Show Me"; otherwise, Manning is more subtle. Still, after three straight blues albums for the independent Alligator Records label, Winter had established a pure blues pedigree, and a move back toward the mainstream may not sit well with his more purist fans. It isn't really that overt, for the most part, but this is clearly a more highly produced, more commercially intended record than any Winter has made since he left the CBS Records subsidiary Blue Sky after Raisin' Cain in 1980.
Reissue with SHM-CD format and new 24bit remastering. Comes with a mini-description. A trio is helping out guitarist Johnny Smith – but, as with all of his other Roost Records of the time, the man himself is very far out in the lead – making real magic on the strings of his guitar, and playing with an effortless command of tone and color! Some moments of the record actually have a bit more of an uptempo swing than other of Johnny's albums of the period – but others are a masterpiece is gentle harmonics – those incredible notes that Smith almost seemed to invent for jazz guitar in the 50s – and which seem to come through even more beautifully in the sparest of settings. The trio features Bob Pancoast on piano, Mousie Alexander on drums, and George Roumanis on bass