Weighing in at 15 CDs, The Studio Albums 1969-1983 is a hefty box set but, at $85, it is relatively affordable considering that it contains everything Alice Cooper – both the band and the man – recorded at Straight and Warner. Whatever bonus material attached to CD reissues over the years has been stripped away – nothing from the 2001 deluxe edition of Billion Dollar Babies, then – and there are no new remasters of the albums, but this set isn't bare bones. The mini-LP replicas contain a few inserts carried over from the vinyl and, more importantly, those early Straight Records are present, which is good because they were out of print for a while. Not everything here is great – he did have a rough patch in the late '70s and early '80s – but it's all interesting, and it's especially nice to be able to get the entire catalog so easily and cheaply.
Lee Morgan’s first meeting on record with Clifford Jordan was in June 1957, when Morgan was about to turn nineteen and Jordan had just begun making a name for himself. After their first collaboration, the precocious Morgan occasionally called Jordan to play tenor on his recordings; thus they recorded together twice in 1960 and once in January 1962.
Lee Ann Womack began recording a sequel for MCA Nashville after 2008's Call Me Crazy, but none of its advance singles stuck, leading the singer to shift direction for her seventh studio album. This album didn't appear until 2014, not on Universal but on Sugar Hill/Welk, who picked up The Way I'm Livin', an album that effectively reboots her career. Produced by Frank Liddell – Womack's husband but more notably the producer behind recent hit records by Miranda Lambert, Pistol Annies, David Nail, and the Eli Young Band – The Way I'm Livin' finds the veteran singer intentionally abandoning the chart race for deeply felt intimacy. Womack didn't write any of the songs on The Way I'm Livin' – a collection of writers ranging from Bruce Robison, Kenny Price, Julie Miller, and Mindy Smith to Hayes Carll and Neil Young bear credits – but the material is so carefully selected, the album plays personally.
A great Lee Morgan set – and one of his rarest! The album was recorded in 1967, but unissued until 1998, when Blue Note unveiled the material as part of its "standards" series that featured label players performing material not of their own composition. Unlike the other records in the series, though, this set by Morgan is not filled with snoozy evergreens, and instead features some excellent reworkings of 60's pop tracks and a few traditional numbers. The group's a septet, with instrumentation that hearkens to other Morgan sessions from the time – like Infinity or Sixth Sense – and players include Wayne Shorter, James Spaulding, and Herbie Hancock. Duke Pearson did the arrangements.