Guitarists Stanley Jordan and Kevin Eubanks team up for the 2015 Mack Avenue release Duets. An intimate, relaxed album, Duets features the esteemed journeyman artists playing both acoustic and electric instruments on a handful of classic standards, originals, and newer pop tunes. Rather than a cutting session, Duets works more as a laid-back conversation in which both musicians revel in the warmth of each other's sound. While they share a similar style, favoring a clean, unaffected approach to the guitar, there are enough differences in each player's sounds to easily distinguish them on a given track.
The first of three CDs featuring tenorman Clifford Jordan and his "Magic Triangle" (pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Billy Higgins) has fairly lengthy versions of "Pinocchio," "That Old Devil Moon," Walton's "The Maestro," and Jordan's "The Highest Mountain." Recorded live in Amsterdam, the musicians sound inspired by each other's presence, and there are many strong solos from Jordan and Walton. Well worth investigating.
For her 34th studio album, Anne Murray recorded a set of duets with many of her favorite female singers, from Nelly Furtado to Sarah Brightman. There are a number of country duet partners here, such as Shania Twain, Emmylou Harris, and Martina McBride, but there are even more pop-oriented women singing with Murray, encompassing the likes of Celtic Woman and Celine Dion. This makes perfect sense, as Murray's always straddled the pop-country fence effortlessly. Her singing on Duets: Friends and Legends is just as effortless. Now in her fifth decade as an active recording artist, her voice hasn't lost a beat, sounding just as pure and clear as it did on 1970s "Snowbird" (done here with a surprisingly relaxed, easy vocal from Brightman, sounding for all the world like a young Olivia Newton-John). The majority of these songs are ones which have been sizeable hits for Murray in the past, most of which work nicely recast as duets, or at least showcases for harmony singing.
The guitar of Toninho Horta is always a treat, but on this 2005 album it's made even better by some lyrically light flute work from Nicola Stilo! The set's got a dreamy quality that really gets at the gentler sound of Horta's work on guitar – and a few tunes even feature his vocals, singing in a laidback way that has echoes of the earlier bossa era, but a more gently jazzy approach overall. Stilo plays a variety of flutes on the set, and titles include a great version of Coltrane's "Naima", plus "Very Early", "Vento", "My Ideal", "In A Sentimental Mood", "Meu Canario", "Bons Amigos", and "Illusion".
Sir Thomas John Woodward OBE (born 7 June 1940), also known by his stage name Tom Jones, is a Welsh singer. His career has spanned six decades, from his emergence as a vocalist in the mid-1960s with a string of top hits, regular touring, appearances in Las Vegas (1967–2011), and career comebacks—to coaching on The Voice UK from 2012 (with the exception of 2016). Jones's powerful voice has been described as a "full-throated, robust baritone"..
Happily, Blue Note Records and Michael Cuscuna have reissued this wonderfully relaxed recording, which dates from a very fertile period of the renowned jazz label's history. Tenor saxman Jordan was influenced by and shares influences with Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane and Hank Mobley; the early inspiration of Lester Young can also be heard. On this date, the selection of tunes is pleasantly balanced between three originals, two bebop standards, and Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady." Trumpeter Art Farmer's playing is up to his usual high standard - thoughtful, sensitive and technically brilliant. Pianist Sonny Clark is captured during the most prolific phase of his ten-year recording career; together with bassist George Tucker and drummer Louis Hayes, they create a solid, swinging and simpatico rhythm section.
Lewis Wright is an award-winning British vibraphonist, composer and drummer based in London. As a vibraphonist, he was nominated for Rising Star in the 2016 Downbeat International Critics Poll, was awarded Ensemble of the Year in the 2016 Parliamentary Jazz Awards with Empirical, and was awarded the Worshipful Company of Musicians prize in 2011.