The 1988 edition of The Jazz Messengers, which drummer Art Blakey had been leading for 33 years, showed a great deal of promise. Comprised of trumpeter Philip Harper (soon to form The Harper Brothers), trombonist Robin Eubanks, the tenor of Javon Jackson, pianist Benny Green and bassist Peter Washington, this band (whose average age without counting Blakey was around 25) performs one original apiece by Green and Jackson along with five older songs on this enjoyable release. The music may not have contained too many surprises or been startlingly new, but the results are quite pleasing.
After several years of few recordings, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers re-emerged with totally new personnel on this Prestige LP. The strongest performance is a quartet feature for the great trumpeter Woody Shaw on "I Can't Get Started," but the other three selections (which include such musicians as George Cables or John Hicks on keyboards, bassist Stanley Clarke and Ramon Morris on reeds) are also worth hearing and sound surprisingly "contemporary" for the time. An interesting set.
When guitarist Al Caiola (1920) moved to New York after graduating he was quickly hired as a staff musician by CBS, where his skill and adaptability guaranteed him a heavy radio and TV schedule until he left in 1956; he was, in fact, one of the busiest, most successful and respected session men in New York City throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In 1955, at the peak of his success, he recorded “Deep in a Dream” and “Serenade in Blue” for Savoy Records, two albums which focused on a meticulous and reverent treatment of a collection of well-known standards and of his own originals. Technically impeccable, on these Caiola is backed by an excellent rhythm section, with pianist Hank Jones demonstrating his usual warmth and skill, aided by drummer Kenny Clarke and bassist Clyde Lombardi.
This delightful LP features Art Farmer with a large orchestra not long after he switched from trumpet to flügelhorn. Oliver Nelson's arrangements provide great backdrops for the leader, as do the mix of dependable studio musicians and outstanding jazzmen assembled for the three sessions, including Tommy Flanagan, Phil Woods, Clark Terry, and Jim Hall, to name a few. The choice of material is inspiring: a snappy "Raincheck," and Farmer's moody "Rue Prevail," and a relatively (then) new work by John Coltrane, "Naima," which turns into a richly textured tour de force in the hands of Farmer & co.
Alex or Aleck Miller, known later in his career as Sonny Boy Williamson, was an American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter. He was an early and influential blues harp stylist who recorded successfully in the 1950s and 1960s. Down and Out Blues is the first LP record by Sonny Boy Williamson. The album was released in 1959 by Checker Records. The album was a compilation of Williamson's first singles for Checker Records. The album features many famous blues musicians backing Williamson, including Muddy Waters, Otis Spann, and Willie Dixon. 2010 Extended remastered reissue by "Not Now Music" includes an additional CD "The Trumpet Singles." It's original 7" singles released on Trumpet Records 1951-1955.