This five-disc set, contained in a cardboard sleeve that bundles standard jewel cases, consists of Lonnie Liston Smith & the Cosmic Echoes' four albums for Flying Dutchman – Astral Traveling (1973), Cosmic Funk (1974), Expansions (1974), and Visions of a New World (1975) – along with their first for RCA, Reflections of a Golden Dream (1976). Some of the albums were intermittently elusive, at least when it came to the CD format, throughout the years, so this was a convenient – and affordable – way to get them in one shot. However, it went out of print quickly after its 2009 release.
A great Capitol moment from pianist Paul Smith – an artist who really cut some of his best material ever for the label ! The Smith sound is at the height of its powers here in the late 50s — kind of a blend of jazz and more easy-going pianistic modes — often stretched out with lots of flourishes by Smith on the keys, but never the too-flowery styles used by some of his contemporaries ! Instead, Paul keeps things nice and lean — always enough to be plenty swinging in all the right moments — with quartet help from Barney Kessel on guitar, Joe Mondragon on bass, and Stan Levey on drums.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Paul Smith, jazz pianist, widely known as Ella Fritzgerald’s conductor and pianist, an active studio musician with a brilliant technique. Paul Smith also worked with renowned Jazz figures, such as: Dizzy Gillespie, Anita O’Day, Buddy DeFranco, Louie Bellson, Steve Allen, Louie Bellson, Stan Kenton, Mel Torme and many others. Pick of the day, Paul Smith’s rendition to Bossa Nova. This is Paul Smith Piano and Orchestra – Brazilian Detour (1966), for Warner. Paul Smith is a virtuoso piano player; he goes from the “liquid sounds” slow playing to a faster approach, hitting keys strongly. Paul Smith also leads the orchestra.
SHM-CD reissue. Comes with a mini-description. Features new remastering if it comes from Parlophone. Guitarist Johnny Smith in a sweet, laidback trio setting – just the kind of mode that's perfect for his gentle sense of color and tone – a style he virtually invented for jazz guitar in the 50s! The album's one of his classics for the Roost label, and it's a masterpiece in chromatic hues – subtle, simple, but completely fantastic – at a level that makes Johnny Smith one of the true legends in jazz guitar from the 50s. Accompaniment is by George Roumanis on bass and Mousie Alexander on drums – but both players are extremely gentle, and leave most of the sound to Johnny – as it should be. Titles include "Little Girl Blue", "My Funny Valentine", "Polka Dots & Moonbeams", "Everything Happens To Me", "Pavanne", and "Blues Back Stage".
SHM-CD reissue. Comes with a mini-description. Features new remastering if it comes from Parlophone. Sublime guitar work from the great Johnny Smith – a musician who was years ahead of his time, and influenced a generation with his clean, clear tone on the instrument! Smith's in a perfect setting here – a Roost label quartet date that includes Bob Pancost on piano, George Roumanis on bass, and Mousie Alexander on drums – a very understated group that really lets Johnny's wonderful tones and colors stand strongly out front! Titles include "0500 Blues", "Old Girl", "Tired Blood", "Un Poco Loco", and "More Bass". Great CD version – one of the few proper issues of this material!
Connie Smith is perhaps the only female singer in the history of country music who can truly claim to be the heiress to Patsy Cline's throne. It's not that there aren't many amazing vocalists in the field, and plenty of legends among them. But in terms of the pure gift of interpretation of taking virtually any song and making it a country song of class and distinction, Smith is it.