Between 1960 and 1963 Texas tenor Curtis Amy (1927-2002) made six superb albums for Dick Bocks Pacific Jazz label, three of which, Groovin Blue, Way Down, and Tippin on Through, are included here. They were part of Bocks recognition of the emergence on the West Coast scene of a more groove-based, harder swinging approach than the cooler, considered style that preceded it. He chose well. Years of semi-obscurity in L.A. dance bands and organ combos had made Amy a thoroughly seasoned, assertive and inventive player in the mould of fellow tenor, Harold Land; these Pacific albums established him as a major exponent of the new music revitalizing West Coast jazz.
A really cool bit of bossa jazz from reedman Buddy Collette – an artist who's not as well associated with the genre as Stan Getz or Paul Desmond – but who really cooks nicely here! The setting is relatively lean and groovy – with guitar from Howard Roberts, bass from Mel Pollan, and percussion from Leo Acosta and Darias – both of whom bring a nice sort of west coast vibe to the set, one that's different from some of the Verve bossa modes of the time. Jim Helms handled the arrangements, with a nice airy sort of mode – and Buddy plays both tenor and flute, on titles that include "Nao Pode Ser", "Porque De Moras", "A Pele Do Marfin", "A Meie Noite", "Samba Da Tartaruga", and "Amor Levado".
Despite various reissue formats over several decades, the seven original LPs contained in Thelonious Monk - The Riverside Tenor Sessions stood perfectly well on their own at the time of initial release and remain among the highest achievements of a truly golden age. Recorded and released between 1956 and 1961, these seven Monk combo albums were critical in Monk's emergence from a decade of ridicule and neglect to his status at the pinnacle of the jazz pantheon. In addition to some of his best recorded piano performances and more than two dozen of his profoundly personal compositions, these albums provide an overview of the era's major tenor saxophonists, with contributions by Sonny Rollins, Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane, Johnny Griffin, Charlie Rouse and Harold Land…
This is one of pianist John Lewis' most rewarding albums outside of his work with the Modern Jazz Quartet. Three numbers (including a remake of "Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West") showcase his piano in a quartet with guitarist Jim Hall, bassist George Duvivier, and drummer Connie Kay. A 15-and-a-half-minute rendition of "Body and Soul" has one of tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves' finest solos, while "Afternoon in Paris" features a diverse cast with trumpeter Herb Pomeroy, Gunther Schuller on French horn, tenor man Benny Golson, baritonist Jimmy Giuffre, and guitarist Jim Hall; altoist Eric Dolphy cuts everyone.