The Finnish blues artist Pepe Ahlqvist will be known to many European blues lovers as he has been active since the early seventies and made some excellent records along the way! Though many will recall him as a singer and harmonica player, here he has dropped the harp and taken up his first instrument, the guitar – and how! Not that he is a flashy player – far from it, but the notes he chooses are just right – quality over quantity. The Umo Jazz Orchestra are the kind of outfit all too rarely heard these days, a big, swinging and genre hopping outfit, akin to the Ray Charles Orchestra at its best, or Gil Evans Band (think particularly when they worked with Cleanhead Vinson). Pepe sings well in a variety of styles, from the swinging jump-blues of the opener to the blues-rcoing cover of BB King’s ‘So Excited’ that closes the set – in between there are soul numbers, a variety of blues styles, some wonderful modern(ish) jazz with a cover of Horace Silver’s ‘Senor Blues’, funk via ‘Dancemaster’ and even the almost jazz-meets-rap of ‘T’s And B’s’. This kind of big band blues comes along all too rarely, which means it is invariably worth listening to – and this release is sheer class.
Features 24 bit digital remastering. Comes with a description. Originally released on Atlantic in 1957, the short-lived bop quintet les Jazz Modes performed excerpts from Frank Loesser's third Broadway musical The Most Happy Fella. This tasteful date features Julius Watkins on French horn (and pre-Thelonious Monk) and tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, accompanied by pianist Gildo Mahones, bassist, Martin Rivera, drummer Ron Jefferson, and, for this date only, vocalist Eileen Gilbert was added on "My Heart Is So Full of You."
Masters Of American Music The Story Of Jazz may be the most concise informative documentary on jazz to date. Five discs consisting of six and a half hours of material is presented in concise, informative segments. Comparisons to Ken Burns Jazz are inevitable, but unnecessary. This documentary combines extremely rare footage of performances and interviews to analyze the evolution of jazz and highlight four of its icons. Originally a television 'mini-series', the release of this limited edition digitally re-mastered set is good news for the world of jazz.