Not that this artist isn't pretty cool; far from it. Credited either as Bob Hardaway or Robert Hardaway, he spent much of the 20th century at the top of the studio musician scene in Los Angeles, playing a bewildering array of woodwind instruments — even bass clarinet, English horn, and alto flute — on a tall stack of records that stylistically give the impression of having been snatched at random out of a burning used record store, the Partridge Family, Dinah Washington, Bonnie Raitt, and his efforts with the Eddie Shu/Bob Hardaway Jazz Practitioners among them.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. West coast meets Dutch jazz – in this sweet set that features Bob Cooper on tenor and Conte Candoli on trumpet – both musicians who rose to fame in the LA scene of the 50s, but who still stand plenty strong here with the trio of Rein DeGraaff in the 90s! Cooper and Candoli continued to play often over the years – even after both had lost the opportunity to record much as leaders – and the musicians are in fine form here, with strong backing from Rein's trio that also features Koos Serierse on bass and Erik Ineke on drums.
One of three LPs recorded by the Gerry Mulligan Sextet of 1955-56, this set includes plenty of lesser-known songs including "Mainstream," "Igloo" and "Lollypop." With such strong soloists as baritonist Mulligan, the always swinging tenor of Zoot Sims, valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer and trumpeter Jon Eardley, this was a classic West Coast style jazz band and each of its recordings are worth acquiring.
This 10-CD set is as good a compendium of the genius of Louis Armstrong as anyone could wish for. It’s all here: the early years with the King Oliver and Fletcher Henderson bands, the glorious period of the Hot Fives and Sevens, the big band recordings of the Thirties, the collaborations with contemporaries such as Ella Fitzgerald. Then there are the later recordings, when Satchmo’s celebrity empowered him to soar over many political and racial divides. There’s also a fascinating unreleased Hollywood Bowl concert from 1956, a CD of “out-takes” from recording sessions, and a revealing interview with Dan Morgenstern.
Phil Woods & His European Rhythm Machine was a brilliant though short-lived quartet that made a handful of albums between 1968 and 1973, though most of them are long out of print. Happily, this early studio effort, with pianist George Gruntz, bassist Henri Texier, and drummer Daniel Humair, has been reissued in Japan by Toshiba-EMI, all of whom provide first-rate rhythmic support and make the most of their solos. The leader's "And When We Are Young" was written in tribute to Senator Robert Kennedy, who was gunned down by a cowardly assassin in the spring of 1968 in the midst of Kennedy's celebration of his presidential primary victory in California. The piece begins with a mournful dirge before cutting loose with some wailing post-bop.
The Mastercuts label's great Classic Jazz-Funk series kicked off in 1991, and like the remainder of volumes released in its wake throughout the '90s, the first volume more or less concentrates on the '70s end of jazz-funk, as opposed to the form's beginnings during the '60s. Jazz artists were incorporating more potent and often easily danceable backbeats and were also allowing for the R&B of the time to infiltrate their sound, causing purists to shriek in horror at the break from tradition and – just as importantly – the crossover appeal.
Chet Baker (trumpet) was arguably at the peak of his prowess when captured in a quartet setting at the Masonic Temple in Ann Arbor, MI, May 9, 1954. He's joined by Russ Freeman (piano), Carson Smith (bass) and Bob Neel (drums), all of whom provide ample assistance without ever obscuring their leader's laid-back and refined style. Baker's sublime sounds also garnered notice from critics, who had placed him atop polls in both Metronome and Down Beat magazines the previous year.
Bob Brookmeyer has been so busy as a writer since the mid-'60s that his valve trombone playing has been somewhat underrecorded. This quartet set with pianist Alan Broadbent (who also plays a bit of synthesizer), bassist Eric Von Essen and drummer Michael Stephans) finds Brookmeyer in top form on four standards and a quartet of his originals (including "Later Blues," "Tootsie Samba" and "Who Could Care"). His valve trombone playing had grown and evolved through the years and, although he still had the cool tone, Brookmeyer's solos are often quite complex while not completely abandoning chordal improvisation. This Concord release is well worth picking up.