Recorded over the course of three months in 1962, Coltrane was John Coltrane's third album for Impulse, but his first for the label devoted entirely to his regular working group. It was also the first album on any label to showcase what came to be known as the classic John Coltrane Quartet. That group – with McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass and Elvin Jones on drums – established itself in its four years of existence as one of the most influential ensembles in jazz, and one of the most popular as well. Coltrane documents its genesis.
This compilation contains selections from five different nightclub engagements; Bop City in New York in 1950, Club Hangover in San Francisco in 1952, Storyville in Boston in 1953, Basin Street in New York in 1955 and the Brant Inn in Ontario in 1958–featuring five different iterations of Armstrong's All Stars, featuring top sidemen such as Jack Teagarden, Barney Bigard, Earl Fatha Hines, Arvell Shaw, Cozy Cole, Marty Napoleon, Milt Hinton, Barrett Deems, Edmond Hall and more. The exciting nightclub performances on this collection are not only being released for the first time, but every track is taken from the Research Collections of the Louis Armstrong House Museum, with the majority emanating from Armstrong's personal reel-to-reel tape collection. This important new release once again demonstrates with finality that Pops was always tops.
In the late 1940s, Louis Armstrong disbanded his orchestra and returned to the small group format, resulting in the birth of his legendary "All Stars" band.
In its original incarnation, it was a truly all-star quintet, which boasted the great Earl Hines, Jack Teagarden, Barney Bigard and Sidney Catlett as its other members. Sustaining a group that included so many former leaders was not easy, and although the name remained, the components changed. This 1962 concert at Stockholm, for instance, presents none of the original members except for Louis himself. The band members proved effective accompanists for the group's primary star. Most of them were well known jazz figures.
A wonderful artifact, this is a prime slice of the latter-day Satchmo with a small all-stars band working through a relatively typical set. The performance ranges from solid to excellent, with the occasional odd flub (such as the uncertain return after Danny Barcelona's first drum solo on "Basin Street Blues"), but the quality of the recording is the key element. The Mobile Fidelity gold CD edition adds three tracks to the Storyville original, and provides a clear, uncluttered sound field with excellent separation. The resulting album is a treat to hear. ~ Steven McDonald, Rovi
When Count Basie returned to Verve Records in 1962, Neal Hefti was contracted to write the tunes and arrangements, a revival of their partnership from the 1958 Roulette LP Basie Plays Hefti. While none of these selections is as famous as his songs like "Cute," "Little Pony," "Splanky," "Li'l Darlin'," and "Repetition," the substantial originality of this music is hard to deny, not to mention that the expert musicians playing his music bring these tracks fully to life in a livelier fashion than most laid-back Basie studio sessions. In fact, it has the feeling of a concert date that trumps the more clean, controlled environment of a session that was recorded on a three-track reel-to-reel…