Les McCann Ltd. in San Francisco: Recorded Live at the Jazz Workshop was recorded in December of 1960 and released in 1961 on the Pacific Jazz label. Backing his piano were bassist Herbie Flowers and drummer Ron Jefferson. The original LP of this date featured seven selections – only about half of the entire gig. This Fresh Sound reissue contains four more tracks, bringing the total to 11.
A fantastic addition to the Barney Kessel catalog of the 50s – a never-heard live set that has the guitarist in form that's every bit as strong as his famous albums for Contemporary Records! In fact, the strength of the recording may well capture Kessel at a level that beats those sessions – as Barney's playing live, with a bit more bite – and really grabs us with the strong tone on his solos – and the sense of energy he gets in a quartet that also includes a young Pete Jolly on piano! The recording quality is excellent – crystal-clear, and very focused – and the set isn't one of those lost tapes that should have stayed "lost" – but instead a real lost chapter in Barney's tremendous career.
It may have made Bogart and Bergman immortal, but the song "As Time Goes By" curiously never became one of the many jazz standards of the day. So, to find it here in the company of other perennial songs from the jazz catalog is quite a treat. And even more impressive is the fact Carmen McRae is the one at the microphone. Recorded in 1973 at Tokyo's Dug jazz club, As Time Goes By finds McRae accompanying herself on piano. And if one wasn't quite sure whether to put Miss McRae in the same company as a Sarah Vaughan or Dinah Washington, then this collection of numbers should definitely tip the scales. Here is one of jazz's most underrated chanteuses spelling it all out.
For a man of such talent and influence, New Orleans piano legend James Booker is amazingly under-recorded. This disc and its partner (Spiders on the Keys) offer up some measure of what the folks of the Big Easy might have heard if they caught Booker on one of his "on" nights (he was a known drug user and inconsistent in his playing). He is at his best here (recorded at the Maple Leaf between 1972-1982), focused and intense in his playing, wildly passionate on both keyboards and vocals.
For Monk fans, these Mo-Fis are must-haves. Wow! After releasing so many mediocre rock albums, Mobile Fidelity came through with not one but TWO shiny gold CDs by the enigmatic, lovable Thelonious Monk (accompanied in these live recordings by Charlie Rouse on sax, John Ore on bass, and Frank Dunlop on drums)….
The long-awaited follow-up to their hit CD FIRECRACKER is a beautifully produced live album featuring a majority of tracks that have not appeared on previous releases, including their long sought after version of Jane Siberry's classic "Calling All Angels." the recording is also the first to feature the Jenny's most popular and current line-up, with newcomer Heather Masse joining Ruth Moody and Nicky Mehta with her lush vocals and tasteful bass playing and virtuoso instrumentalist Jeremy Penner on fiddle and mandolin.