Chet Baker (trumpet) was arguably at the peak of his prowess when captured in a quartet setting at the Masonic Temple in Ann Arbor, MI, May 9, 1954. He's joined by Russ Freeman (piano), Carson Smith (bass) and Bob Neel (drums), all of whom provide ample assistance without ever obscuring their leader's laid-back and refined style. Baker's sublime sounds also garnered notice from critics, who had placed him atop polls in both Metronome and Down Beat magazines the previous year.
Cardboard sleeve (mini LP) reissue from Phil Upchurch featuring the latest remastering and the high-quality SHM-CD format. Recorded in 1971, shortly after he departed Cadet where he served as a house sideman-playing on dozens of records and a prefferred guitarist for Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler, Phil Upchurch headed for the West Coast and Blue Thumb Records. Produced by Tommy LiPuma, Upchurch's Darkness, Darkness is his quintessential (double) album, full of laid-back funky grooves, elegant, mind-blowing guitar work, elegant string and horn arrangements, and fine Fender Rhodes work from Donny Hathaway with legendary session bassist Chuck Rainey and smooth jazz piano great Joe Sample in the house.
24bit digitally remastered reissue. Comes housed in a cardboard sleeve. This release compiles two wonderful LPs presenting Zoot Sims playing bossa nova songs, as well as jazz standards in a bossa nova mood arranged by Manny Albam and Al Cohn: New Beat Bossa Nova (Colpix SCP435), and its sequel, New Beat Bossa Nova Vol. 2 (Colpix SCP437). Recorded in 1962, these were among the first albums to combine bossa nova and jazz. Both LPs feature the outstanding guitarist Jim Hall as a soloist.
Although Chet Baker's recordings from late in his life varied dramatically in quality, this series of studio sessions is a high point in his career. After having his trumpet stolen, he plays beautifully with a borrowed flügelhorn throughout most of these songs with a powerful tone, especially on "Baby Breeze" and Hal Galper's intense "This Is the Thing." Baker delivers some strong vocals on the session led by pianist Bobby Scott, though Scott's huge hit "A Taste of Honey" is marred somewhat by his odd honky tonk piano in the background.
This is a very under-rated album. The complaints are that the strings are too syrupy, yet one of Chet's most critically successful albums was Chet With Strings. This album is just as good as that one or Grey December, which also has strings. In fact, while all the songs are very good, it's worth buying just for Sammy Cahn's "I Should Care", Chet playing the BEST version of that song I have ever heard, with a GREAT string arrangement!! If you like Chet, even casually, you can't go wrong with this charming album.
With most classic R&B acts, we feel lucky to get one genuine live recording – in the case of Ike & Tina Turner, by contrast, we have an embarrassment of riches in the way of concert recordings from the early- to mid-1960s, and it started with this Kent Records release. Issued in 1964, soon after they left Kent, it captured 35 minutes of their live act, from the Club Imperial and the Harlem Club in St, Louis. In addition to Tina Turner in an extended rap attached to "Please, Please, Please," we also get Jimmy Thomas in a rousing version of "Feel So Good," Venetta Fields' mournful, magnificent "The Love of My Man," Bobby John on the smooth, soulful, soaring "Think," Stacy Johnson doing "Drown in My Own Tears," Robbie Montgomery's "I Love the Way You Love," and Vernon Guy singing "Your Precious Love".
Though it was released only a year after The Best of the Lovin' Spoonful, during which the group had made only one more new studio album, The Best of the Lovin' Spoonful, Volume Two was the equal of the first volume in quality…
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