An unusually enchanting album, even for John Renbourn; The Enchanted Garden is a follow-up to the John Renbourn Group's 1977 A Maid in Bedlam, devoted to medieval and Renaissance dance and classical music, as well as folk material and Indian ragas…
This reissue of a classic underground Paris Latin jazz/funk album is welcome to the hundreds who have sought it out at unbelievably high prices on the collector's market. Recorded in 1970 and issued by Barclay in 1971, Paris Soul is an album that wears the test of time well. The steaming orchestral arrangements by Evaristo Nata's steaming orchestral arrangements blends some Afro-Cuban flavors (such as the Santana tribute "Salute to Santa," on which they bite a chunk from "Oye Como Va" and bend it into a near salsa jam), some Brazilian samba, Memphis soul, and post-bop jazz soloing to achieve a smoky, sexy, funky groove. There are 120 tunes here, and all of them are deep, fat, and greasy with groove. The band members, apart from their arranger, are anonymous, but it hardly matters; this isn't the kind of record you're going to put on to analyze what's happening musically. While it's complex and beautiful, you'll be throwing this on either at home or the party in order to move on the dance floor.
The Franco-Flemish composer, Johannes Ockeghem, sang at Antwerp at the Bourbon court before joining the French royal chapel in 1451. Ockeghem spent most of his professional life at the French chapel and his output was quite prolific. He composed 14 settings of the Mass, including one of the earliest polyphonic versions of the Requiem. Ockeghem also composed numerous motets and secular songs. He was one of the most original voices in early Renaissance polyphony and his music dazzles with its ingenuity and beauty.
Buddy Rich, the most remarkable drummer to ever play jazz, can easily have his career divided into three. During 1937-1945 he was a notable sideman with big bands including those of Bunny Berigan, Artie Shaw, and Tommy Dorsey. In 1966 he formed his own successful orchestra that capitulated him to his greatest fame. During the 20 years in between, Rich led short-lived bebop big bands, a variety of combos, toured with Jazz at the Philharmonic, recorded with all-star groups, and had stints with the orchestras of Dorsey and Harry James. This seven-CD set draws its material from Rich's second period and it can also be divided into two. The first half has Rich recording for producer Norman Granz in a variety of combos.
This two-CD, 51-song set covers virtually everything the group recorded with Steve Winwood in the lineup from 1964-1967. The gap between the band's best and worst material was considerable; quite a few of their R&B covers are surprisingly routine, and the occasional cuts that don't have Winwood on lead vocals are downright pedestrian…
This seven-CD limited-edition box set from Mosaic is another mind-boggling collection. The masterful trombonist J.J. Johnson recorded steadily for Columbia during the 1956-61 period, heading groups that ranged from quartets to sextets that performed solid hard bop. Johnson is joined on various selections by tenors Bobby Jaspar (doubling on flute) and Clifford Jordan; cornetist Nat Adderley; the young trumpeter Freddie Hubbard; pianists Hank Jones, Tommy Flanagan, Cedar Walton, and Victor Feldman; bassists Percy Heath, Wilbur Little, Paul Chambers, Spanky DeBrest, Arthur Harper, and Sam Jones; and drummers Elvin Jones, Max Roach, Albert "Tootie" Heath, and Louis Hayes.
Johnny Smith is an exquisite jazz guitarist known mostly to fellow musicians and serious jazz fans. This beautifully packaged and expertly annotated eight-CD limited-edition boxed set from Mosaic includes his complete small-group recordings for Roost, most of which have languished out of print for decades. Smith's unique voicings on his instrument set him apart from other players, yet he maintains a lush, crystal-clear tone no matter the tempo or setting.
Dresden is an eagerly awaited release. It has been five years since In Praise of Dreams, eleven years since Rites, and sixteen years since Twelve Moons the last Garbarek disc identified unequivocally as Jan Garbarek Group album. In the interim, through steady touring, the ensemble has become perhaps the most popular European group currently playing instrumental music with strong improvisational traits - beyond genre now, and in an idiom of its own, broader than "jazz", though still inspired by its most open-minded exponents.