Don Pasquale is among the last of Donizetti’s sixty-six completed operas. After the successful premiere of Linda di Chamounix in Vienna in May 1842. Donizetti made his way to Milan, hoping to get a new libretto for a comic opera for Paris. He actually started on a work called ‘Ne m’oubliez pas’ (do not forget me) before abandoning it when he got the commission to write a comic opera for the Théâtre Italien. Giovanni Ruffini, an Italian political exile living in Paris, wrote the libretto based on a previous opera by Pavesi. Donizetti was not happy with Ruffini’s verses and made changes of his own to the extent that his librettist refused to attach his name to the printed libretto.
Recorded on May 21, 1970, at Detroit's Club Mozambique, this was shelved and remained unreleased until it was retrieved for CD issue in 1995. It's odd that Blue Note decided to sit on it for so long, because it ranks as one of Lonnie's better sets. The band, featuring George Benson on guitar, is relaxed and funky without being in your face about it, and unlike much soul-jazz of the time, most of the material is original, Smith having penned six of the eight numbers. Although the riffs often owe a lot to James Brown, this is definitely at least as much jazz as soul, with Lonnie taking a rare vocal turn on "Peace of Mind."
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. A really unusual album from the mighty Hammond giant John Patton – as the set features two tenor players in the group, both of them great! The tenor's no stranger to the sublime keyboard work of Patton – but here, the great one gets help from both Fred Jackson and Harold Vick – both of whom are at their early 60s soul jazz best, able to play with a hard edge, but also some surprisingly complicated moments too – which really fits into the spirit of Patton's overall groove!
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. One of the greatest albums ever from Blue Note tenor giant Hank Mobley – a set that really explodes in all the new directions Hank was taking in the 60s! Mobley in the 50s was already the stuff of legend – a tremendous soloist on tenor, and every bit his own man – firmly focused forward with a voice that was already tremendous – but which was turned towards a lot of new ideas with records like this!
Righteous Bobby Hutcherson from the 70s – one of his last albums recorded in the company of reedman Harold Land – and one of his greatest too! There's a wonderful mix of modes going on here – modal jazz meets California sun, blending a sense of spiritualism with some of the warmth that Hutcherson was increasingly discovering in his music – especially on the album's use of marimbas, which are surprisingly great next to Bobby's vibes!