To say that this limited-edition six-LP Mosaic box is overflowing with classics is an understatement. Included are a variety of small-group sessions (with overlapping personnel) from the early days of Blue Note. The Edmond Hall Celeste Quartet has five songs that are the only existing examples of Charlie Christian playing acoustic guitar; clarinetist Hall, Meade Lux Lewis (on celeste), and bassist Israel Crosby complete the unique group. The king of stride piano, James P. Johnson, is heard on eight solos; other combos are led by Johnson, Hall (who heads four groups in all), trumpeter Sidney DeParis, and trombonist Vic Dickenson (heard in a 1952 quartet with organist Bill Doggett).
The release of 'Unleashed' on r.a.r.e. complements the band's original classic 'Growers of Mushroom', a legendary 1970s album, reissued on Repertoire in 2005. This newly recorded set of high-octane performances features powerhouse vocalist Peter French - after spells with Cactus and Atomic Rooster - now back with a new line-up featuring fleet fingered guitarist Luke Rayner, Ed Pearson (bass) and Jimmy Rowland (drums). Dynamic tracks such as 'One hundred and five degrees', 'Barricades' and 'Too many rock'n'roll times' epitomise the band's allegiance to the legacy of Cream, Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. Outstanding cut 'Breakthrough' is a new version of a song originally sung by Peter French with Atomic Rooster in the 1970s.
Growers of Mushroom is the first album by British hard rock band Leaf Hound. The album reportedly took only 11 hours to record in Mayfair's Spot Studios. It has become a much-sought-after LP by collectors (a mint condition copy sold for $4329.00 USD in March 2016). Growers of Mushroom became a collectors item in the years to come and was voted the number one most collectible rock album in Q magazine. This is the only album by the classic Leaf Hound line-up. A few months after recording it, the group disbanded, but re-united in 2004, thirty-three years later.
This aptly named disc showcases James Booker's piano playing; his stretches and runs are breathtaking in their fluidity. This disc (along with its Rounder partner, Resurrection of the Bayou Maharajah) was culled from some 60 or so hours of tapes that John Parsons recorded at the Maple Leaf Bar from 1977 to 1982. The main difference in the music on the two discs is that this one is purely instrumental.