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.
Ben's first full-length record, this 1963 release contains the hit singles "Mas Que Nada" and "Chove Chuva" and typifies the light yet propulsive rhythms that afforded Ben a decades-long career in Brazilian pop. Not yet pared down to the more rock- and Afro percussive-driven sound he eventually developed, Samba Esquema Novo (which translates to "New Style Samba") is replete with swirling bossa nova rhythms and soaring choruses. Its big-band-style accompaniment, nicely off-set by Ben's signature minor-tone guitar workings, propels the set into an upbeat and enjoyable listen.
Elengó, Roberto’s third album illustrates his unique talent. It is a riveting performance that is truly moving. Fonseca’s Latin flavored music is inspired and is a fusion of unique talent and composition. Roberto is also the arranger of the album.
André Previn was just 16 years old when he recorded the earliest numbers on Previn at Sunset, but he was already a brilliant pianist and a busy arranger at the MGM studios. Most (but not quite all) of the recordings that he made for the Sunset and Monarch labels, among the earliest in his career, are here. A major swing stylist who had not yet been affected by bop, Previn is heard on some unaccompanied solos; in three different trios with such sidemen as guitarists Dave Barbour or Irving Ashby, bassists John Simmons, Eddie Safranski, or Red Callender, and drummer Lee Young; and a couple of jam tunes ("All the Things You Are" and "I Found a New Baby") with a sextet also either Buddy Childers or Howard McGhee on trumpet, altoist Willie Smith, and Vido Musso on tenor. The small group swing performances are quite enjoyable, and the teenage pianist easily keeps up with the other, more famous players.