100 CDs provide you with the most exciting, most beautiful and most swinging recordings from this period. All-Star Swing groups with their most famous recordings. Mit Henry Allen, Roy Eldrige, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Johnny Hodges, Benny Carter, Fats Waller, Art Tatum, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Red Norvo, Teddy Wilson, Buck Clayton, Django Reinhardt, Jack Teagarden, Rex Stewart, Chu Berry, Charlie Christian, Louis Armstrong u.a. 100-CD-Box with original recordings.
This double-CD set gave bassist Milt Hinton an opportunity to engage in reunions with many of his old friends from the 1930s. The seven sessions were compiled during a 12-month period and the results are often delightful. The opening "Old Man Time" is sung by Hinton himself, and it is both insightful and humorous. The other highlights include Joe Williams singing "Four or Five Times" (which features some very rare Flip Phillips clarinet), three bass guitar duets with Danny Barker, appearances by Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry, Al Grey, Ralph Sutton, and the formation of a group called "The Survivors" that has guitarist Al Casey at age 75 being the youngest member; the latter band also includes 85-year-old trumpeter Doc Cheatham, Eddie Barefield, Buddy Tate and even Cab Calloway. A lot of storytelling takes place during the songs and, in addition to the 92½ minutes of music, there are two "Jazzspeaks." The 13-minute one features Hinton, Calloway, Cheatham and Barefield reminiscing about their experiences in the early days, while a marvelous 45-minute monologue by the bassist covers most of his long and productive life and is consistently fascinating. Highly recommended.
In 1938, jazz aficionado/promoter/producer John Hammond, Sr. had an idea for a visionary concert. This vision would take fruition as a presentation known as "From Spirituals to Swing," bringing together the connected history of African-American music running from gospel to blues to jazz.
Few jazz albums released in 2005 have given me as much pleasure as the latest release by Mathias Rüegg's big band. Sure, there has been plenty of nu-jazz, world jazz, third stream and jazz-funk (such as Soulive's Break Out, above), but Swing and Affairs is genuine jazz-jazz. Rüegg, as leader, pianist and composer-arranger of the VAO for nearly three decades, has reinvented the jazz ensemble many times over, but here he demonstrates his effortless mastery of the conventional line-up: four each of trumpets and trombones, five saxes and a rhythm section.
BGO's 2015 two-fer pairs two mid-'70s albums from Jerry Lee Lewis – 1974's I-40 Country and 1975's Odd Man In – on a single CD. Jerry Lee Lewis didn't get much of a boost out of his 1973 return to rock & roll – a revival arriving on two separate LPs, one recorded in England (The Session) and one back home (Southern Roots) – so he slid back to country, scoring a hit with "Sometimes a Memory Ain't Enough" from the album of the same name. I-40 Country arrived a year later, easing into stores in 1974 under the guise of a truck-driving country LP. While these 11 songs do sound good on the open road, none of them are about big rigs or highways, nor do they roll along to a Bakersfield beat. No, they're straight-ahead barroom weepers punctuated by the very occasional novelty – so occasional, it doesn't extend beyond "Alcohol of Fame."