Although not initially released until 1992, 25 years after composer Billy Strayhorn's death, this is his definitive CD. Strayhorn is heard singing "Lush Life" while backed by the Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1964 (his voice is not strong but his phrasing is quite sincere), jamming on piano with flügelhornist Clark Terry and Bob Wilbur (on clarinet and soprano) in a quintet, backing singer Ozzie Bailey, and taking a pair of piano solos ("Love Came" and "Baby Clementine"). These are very valuable and intriguing recordings, shedding some new light on a nearly invisible genius.
For her 34th studio album, Anne Murray recorded a set of duets with many of her favorite female singers, from Nelly Furtado to Sarah Brightman. There are a number of country duet partners here, such as Shania Twain, Emmylou Harris, and Martina McBride, but there are even more pop-oriented women singing with Murray, encompassing the likes of Celtic Woman and Celine Dion. This makes perfect sense, as Murray's always straddled the pop-country fence effortlessly. Her singing on Duets: Friends and Legends is just as effortless. Now in her fifth decade as an active recording artist, her voice hasn't lost a beat, sounding just as pure and clear as it did on 1970s "Snowbird" (done here with a surprisingly relaxed, easy vocal from Brightman, sounding for all the world like a young Olivia Newton-John). The majority of these songs are ones which have been sizeable hits for Murray in the past, most of which work nicely recast as duets, or at least showcases for harmony singing.
In 2002 the Transatlantic Radio label fortified their catalog with a 26-track anthology of historic sides by the Jean Goldkette Orchestra. Victor Recordings 1924-1928 neatly samples some of the group's best works by beginning in March 1924, a good nine months before Bix Beiderbecke first sat in, and ending in December 1928, more than a year after Bix had joined the ranks of Paul Whiteman's Orchestra, along with some of Goldkette's most capable players. During the mid-‘20s the Goldkette band played its best music in front of live audiences, using arrangements by Bill Challis. Studio recordings captured some of the magic in the form of sweet and hot dance music punctuated by period pop vocals. Rather than packing in a lot of alternate takes (which may be found on other equally fine collections), the folks at Transatlantic chose to lay out a sensible selection that accurately embodies what the Goldkette band was all about.
Loved this compilation of songs that you will not hear on the radio, anywhere, anytime. Thanks to those who captured these rare songs and made them available to those of us who love Doo Wop. Most are either danceable or listenable. Props to those who made Confidential Doo Wop !!!
Creole, Murray's latest and his second for the Canadian Justin Time label, is a pure joy. It's a high mark in a career sparkling with exceptions and boundary pushing. Recorded in Guadeloupe in early 1998, Creole is a fiery, imaginative musical coalition of Murray's long-time American compatriots, James Newton (flute), D.D. Jackson (piano); Ray Drummond (bass) and Billy Hart (drums) and a group of Caribbean percussionists, vocalists and the outstanding guitar of GÃ©rard Lockel. The near-perfect blend is accomplished with an emphasis on rhythm, something Murray has explored on a part-time basis since at least 1989's Golden Sea (Sound Aspects), with Kahil El'Zabar.