On this four-CD set are some of Ella Fitzgerald's finest live performances during the years she was managed by Norman Granz. All of the material (which is taken from ten different performances in 1953, 1966, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1979 and 1983) was previously released on various Pablo albums. Since this is a best-of collection and was lovingly put together by the knowledgeable producer Eric Miller, the music is consistently rewarding and emphasizes the interpretive skills, scatting and jazz phrasing of the First Lady of Song. Although mostly backed by her trio/quartets of the period, Ella does get to jam "Perdido" with the 1953 JATP All-Stars, is backed by the Duke Ellington and Count Basie Orchestras on some songs and revisits "Flying Home" with an all-star group in 1983…
This 55-CD set chronicles the remarkable Archiv label, begun in 1947. Devoted mainly to early and Baroque music, the recordings presented here, in facsimiles of their original sleeves (a nice touch), cover the period from Gregorian chant to Beethoven’s Fifth and Sixth symphonies, played on period instruments. There are stops in between for a great deal of Bach, music of the Gothic era, the French Baroque (Mouret, Delalande, Rameau, etc), Gibbons, Handel (Alcina, La Resurrezione, Messiah, Italian cantatas), Telemann, Zelenka, Gabrieli, Desprez, Haydn, LeJeune, and plenty of the usual, as well as unusual, suspects. There’s also a final CD with selections of new releases (more Handel, Cavalli, Gesualdo, Vivaldi).
Ray Charles was the musician most responsible for developing soul music. Singers like Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson also did a great deal to pioneer the form, but Charles did even more to devise a new form of black pop by merging '50s R&B with gospel-powered vocals, adding plenty of flavor from contemporary jazz, blues, and (in the '60s) country. Then there was his singing; his style was among the most emotional and easily identifiable of any 20th century performer, up there with the likes of Elvis and Billie Holiday. He was also a superb keyboard player, arranger, and bandleader. The brilliance of his 1950s and '60s work, however, can't obscure the fact that he made few classic tracks after the mid-'60s, though he recorded often and performed until the year before his death.
This admittedly pricey - but by all means mandatory - Grammy Award-winning box set is the final word on the "songbooks" recorded by Ella Fitzgerald between 1956 and 1964. The audio contents have been completely remastered and each title has been expanded - wherever possible - to include previously unissued material. In terms of packaging, the producers went to extreme lengths to create exact reproductions of all the vintage LP jacket artwork. Even going so far as to precisely miniaturize the entire hardbound text The Gershwins: Words Upon Music that accompanied their 1959 collection as well as the booklet that came with the Ellington anthology…
The very best of Deutsche Grammophon’s piano recordings on 40 CDs, limited edition. From Aimard (The Art of Fugue) to Zimerman (his prize-winning Debussy Preludes on 1 CD for the first time), comprising all the great names – Argerich, Barenboim, Michelangeli, Gilels, Haskil, Horowitz, Kempff, Kissin, Pogorelich, Pollini, Richter; and the new names – Blechacz, Grimaud, Lang Lang, Trifonov, Yuja Wang, Yundi – this is the ideal set to form the cornerstone of a piano collection.
Although it's missing one or two fairly strong tracks, this three-CD, 84-song set is a pretty definitive collection of the group's best '60s material for those who want to go beyond the greatest hits. Besides including all of their key A- and B-sides, it has an entire disc of their best '60s album tracks. The rarities disc includes foreign-language versions, outtakes, mid-'60s BBC performances, and solo discs by Tony Jackson and Chris Curtis. Highlights here include an alternate take of "Someday We're Gonna Love Again," a BBC version of "Blowin' in the Wind," and the previously unreleased "Once Upon a Time" (recorded by Dusty Springfield). The package includes liner notes, discography, and a family tree.
It's fitting that singer Billie Holiday began the most celebrated part of her career with Columbia in 1933, when the country was in the throes of the depression, and ended it in 1942, when the world was gripped by war. Her anguished delivery fit in perfectly with the times. As she projected the torments of her life through music, she gave us an escape from our own troubles, by reminding us of how bad life could get. Regardless, Holiday's sublime Columbia recordings, which originally appeared on the Brunswick, Vocalion and Okeh labels, are among the true treasures of jazz. The complete recordings were released a few years ago in a mammoth box set. This four CD collection pares the material down considerably, although the producers have not just taken the cream of the crop…
The long-awaited 11-CD box set of Braxton's interpretations of the Charlie Parker songbook. Very limited number of advanced copies. Braxton’s hard-swinging Charlie Parker Project, recorded in 1993 with a brilliant band including two geniuses since deceased—trumpeter Paul Smoker and pianist Misha Mengelberg—expands beyond its original two-CD form into a 11-CD box on New Braxton House, the imprint operated by Braxton’s Tri-Centric Foundation. The notion of listening to everything in sequence, including numerous versions of the same tunes, admittedly is daunting, but this is a set that you can drop into literally anywhere and be swept away instantly.
"The greatest songs never grow old, they just get better as a select wine." In this collection are collected 3 generations of romantic music of the 50's, 60's and 70's.
On November 11, Rhino Records will celebrate the music of avant-garde iconoclast Don Van Vliet, a.k.a. Captain Beefheart, with a new four-CD box set. SUN ZOOM SPARK: 1970 to1972 focuses on the period following the release of his career-defining 1969 album Trout Mask Replica. During that creatively fertile patch, Beefheart released three albums that have long lingered in the shadow of Trout Mask and even of Beefheart’s Richard Perry-produced debut Safe as Milk. SUN ZOOM SPARK revisits these three albums – Lick My Decals Off, Baby, The Spotlight Kid, and Clear Spot- in freshly remastered editions, and adds a fourth disc containing fourteen previously unreleased outtakes and alternates from Beefheart and his Magic Band cohorts. Housed in a 7½ x 7½ picture box - still sealed in stickered shrinkwrap.