The second volume of Ace’s Shirelles reissue project finds our heroines firmly entrenched as America’s premiere group. Shirley, Doris, Beverly and Micki (“Mouse” to her friends) were on top of the world as they rang in 1962 at the Apollo Theater’s holiday show – the youngest-ever women to headline Harlem’s fabled showplace. 1961 had seen them rise to dizzying heights with seven major hits, numerous TV appearances and non-stop touring, including an appearance at the Hollywood Bowl. The craze they had incited was booming – the Apollo bill featured the Marvelettes, who had recently become the second girl-group chart-toppers.
aking off from 2004's Up Jumped Spring, trombonist Curtis Fuller once again reunites with a former Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers alum for a set of standards and original compositions. Joining Fuller this time is tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson, who played with Blakey from the late '80s until the drummer's death in 1990. Together they reignite the fiery, soulful Jazz Messenger aesthetic on such standout Fuller tunes as the John Coltrane-influenced "Maze" and the swinging hard boppish "A La Mode." Backing Fuller here is pianist Doug Carn, bassist Rodney Jordan, and drummer Fritz Wise.