Premiata Forneria Marconi (or P.F.M.) were arguably the finest Italian Progressive rock band of the 1970 s and certainly one of the most well known. A successful act in their home land, they came to international attention when they signed to Manticore label in 1973, recording a series of albums with English lyrics, some penned by Elp and King Crimson lyricist Pete Sinfield. Over the next four years they released four studio albums and a live recording for the label, and it is from these albums that this 2CD anthology is drawn. In addition, four previously unreleased live recordings from the Manticore vaults also grace this collection, along with the CD debut of a rare B-side to a UK single.
When Lenny McBrowne and the 4 Souls began gigging in Sacramento and San Francisco clubs they were critically hailed as the greatest promise for the future of West Coast jazz. The leader had gained much of his experience working with Harold Land and playing engagements with Sonny Rollins, Benny Golson and Curtis Fuller. His renowned finesse as a drummer was acquired while mastering the subtleties of his mentor, Max Roach. In these sessions for Pacific Jazz and Riverside, he showed he had become one of the top drummers on the jazz scene, and his young musicians—average age 25—swing hard as a unit. Terry Trotter, Don Sleet and Daniel Jackson are here on top of the demands he placed on them.
Sarah Vaughan recorded frequently during her three years with Roulette, and all 16 albums she completed for them plus five previously unissued tracks are included in this comprehensive eight-CD boxed set from Mosaic. The gifted singer is heard in a variety of settings, from superb small-group sessions to big-band settings and various dates bordering on easy listening; the sessions omitting the often syrupy string sections are the cream of this bumper crop.
Sonny Criss plays Cole Porter – and the results are way greater than the sum of the parts – even though those parts are already pretty darn great! Criss' alto sax has a superb tone at this time – razor-sharp, and nicely crisp – yet still filled with warmth that sets it apart from some of his more modern contemporaries – a beautiful balance that really illuminates these tunes, and has you thinking of them as fresh Criss compositions, not older Porter standards. The instrumentation is quite fresh, too – thanks to the addition of Larry Bunker on vibes, which is a really nice surprise – and piano by Sonny Clark and Jimmy Bunn. The great Lawrence Marable plays drums – and titles include "I Love You", "Easy To Love", "Night & Day", and "Love For Sale".