This 1996 single-CD reissues the complete contents of two former LPs by the Oscar Peterson Trio (consisting of pianist Peterson, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen) in 1959 and 1962. Although the pianist is virtually always the lead voice, Brown and Thigpen both make strong (if subtle) contributions to the music. Highlights include "Liza," "Con Alma," "Waltz for Debby," Brown's "The Gravy Waltz" and "Yours Is My Heart Alone." An above-average release (and rather generous at 74 minutes) from the much-recorded Oscar Peterson.
I must admit I winced when I read the label information, especially the bit about "The Enchanted Melody From The Shirley Temple Show". My fears were virtually groundless, however. This is a good big band, with plenty of soloists, and an arranger (Harry Betts, late of the Kenton trombone section) who treats these television and film themes with praiseworthy perfunctoriness. ~ Alun Morgan
Early Byrd: The Best of the Jazz Soul Years contains a selection of nine tracks from Donald Byrd's mid-'60s recordings, bypassing his funkier fusions of the late '60s and early '70s. These songs – including such numbers as "Slow Drag," "Jellyroll," "Mustang," "Blackjack" and "The Dude" – feature the trumpeter at his grittiest and funkiest. Fans of his early hard bop years will still find enough improvisation here to make it interesting, while latter-day fans will find enough grooves. It's a solid introduction to one of Byrd's most prolific periods.
One of the coolest, grooviest albums ever from Hammond giant Shirley Scott – a set that's got a fair bit of funk in the mix, and a really rich array of inventive lines on the keyboards too! The tracks are longer than usual, and really step past the more familiar Shirley Scott modes of the 60s – opening up into more righteous 70s territory in the company of Chess/Cadet Records – with arrangements from Richard Evans that are as sophisticated as they are funky!
Reissue with the latest remastering. Comes with liner notes. Hard-hitting trio work from Ray – one of his early albums for Columbia, and the record that gave him a surprisingly big hit! "Little Susie" is one of those early 60s soul jazz standards, the kind of catchy tune that got played all over the place on radio, and which forever put the artist at the top of the list for recording dates and live sets for a few years. Ray's riding high here – with a trio that features brother Tommy Bryant on bass, and either Eddie Locke or Gus Johnson on drums – and the album's got lots of other short tracks with a similar down-home soul jazz kind of approach. Titles include "Blues For Norrie", "Big Buddy", "Greensleeves", and "If I Can Just Make It".
This is a reissue of the 1977 album by Sonny Phillips, with original liner notes. Phillips marks Eddie Harris and Ahmad Jamal as his primary influences. Phillips studied under Jamal in the '50s and, like both players, he had a gentle, soulful ability. From Jamal, Phillips inherited or formulated a subtle, understated style of playing that used space and sounds akin to Miles Davis. It was in 1963 that Phillips toured as an organist with the great improviser Eddie Harris. On "My Black Flower," one can hear the beguiling, Jamal-inspired piano, and the organ fantasies are heard on "Me and Me Brudder." Another feature of this album is the inclusion of Latin rhythms, courtesy of conga and percussion journeyman Ralph Dorsey.