London Baroque is one of the most highly respected and widely admired ensembles devoted to the performance of Baroque chamber music. The group's broad repertory has included familiar as well as virtually unknown works from the period inclusive of the late 16th to the mid 18th centuries. London Baroque consists of four players two violinists, a cellist, and keyboardist but is sometimes augmented by additional instrumentalists or vocalists.
Most of this CD is the complete output by Curtis Mosby & His Dixieland Blue Blowers, one of the top jazz bands active in Los Angeles in the 1920s. Although the soundtrack from its appearance in the 1929 movie Hallelujah is not here, this disc has the first-time release of two numbers from a scratchy 1924 test pressing. Otherwise, the eight selections and four alternate takes from 1927-1929 are full of spirit and strong musicianship, with highlights including "Weary Stomp," "Whoop 'Em Up Blues," "Blue Blower's Blues," "Hardee Stomp," and three versions of "Tiger Stomp."
For those who believe in Original Sin, Predestination or, for that matter, Karma, here's a two disc set of the complete "Penitential Psalms" of Orlandus Lassus fabulously performed by Henry's Eight and marvelously recorded by Hyperion. Gloomy but glorious works that hope for the best while assuming for the worst, Lassus' setting of seven fuliginously serious but spiritually salubrious Psalms of David are sure to send shivers down the spine of anyone with a pessimistic cast of mind. The acapella performances of the all-male – two countertenors, three tenors and three basses – Henry's Eight is darkly hued, strongly rhythmic, deeply soulful, very expressive and absolutely true to the late Renaissance agony of Lassus's music. While not perhaps the first place to start with for Lassus in a melancholy mood – try "The Tears of Peter" for the peak of harmonic anguish – Henry's Eight's recording Penitential Psalms belongs in every Lassus collection, especially as preserved in Hyperion's intimate and evocative sound.
This set continues tracing the musical career of the multi talented Henry Glover. Up through 1959 Henry continued his association with King Records writing and producing for King and its Federal and Bethlehem subsidiaries and the first disc and half the second are devoted to these recordings featuring classic performances by Wynonie Harris, Sonny Thompson, Moon Mullican, Lulu Reed, Tiny Bradshaw, The Five Royales, The Checkers, Linda Hopkins, Bill Doggett and others. It also features covers of Glover's King songs including Ray Charles spectacular version of Drown In My Tears, Teresa Brewer's improbable cover of Wynonie Harris's Lovin' Machine, Johnny Burnette's version of The Delmore Brothers' Blues Stay Away From Me and others.
First of two double CDs exploring the substantial contributions to American music by the amazingly talented Henry Glover who was one of the first African-American executives and producers in a white owned record company. Glover did it all - he was a producer, arranger, songwriter, publisher, talent scout, trumpet player and label owner. He started off playing with the Lucky Millinder band in the early 40s and quickly became arranger for the band and songwriter for the band's many great vocalists. Soon he was writing and producing for Syd Nathan's King label and in 1948 was put on staff by Nathan and the majority of the recordings here are from King along with some covers of King hits by artists on other labels.
Continuing the creative roll of Tender Prey and The Good Son, Henry's Dream showed the band in fierce and fine fettle once more. The biggest change was with the choice of producer – David Briggs, famed for his work on some of Neil Young's strongest albums. While Cave later thought the experiment didn't work as well as he might have hoped, Briggs does a fine enough job, perhaps not letting the group's full intensity through but still capturing a live feel nonetheless…
The first of a five-volume CD series released by the European Classics label that reissues all of the recordings led by trumpeter Red Allen during 1929-41 is one of the best. The great trumpeter is first heard fronting the Luis Russell Orchestra for such classics as "It Should Be You" and "Biff'ly Blues," he interacts with blues singer Victoria Spivey, and on the selections from 1933 (two of which were previously unreleased) he co-leads a group with tenor-saxophonist Coleman Hawkins. Not all of the performances are gems but there are many memorable selections including "How Do They Do It That Way," "Pleasin' Paul," "Sugar Hill Function,," and "Patrol Wagon Blues." Other soloists include trombonists J.C. Higginbottham and Dicky Wells, clarinetist Albert Nicholas and altoist Charlie Holmes.