Saxophonist Hank Mobley's 1956 date for Prestige, Mobley's Message, is an often overlooked gem of the era. Joining Mobley here is an all-star cast of musicians including trumpeter Donald Byrd, alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, pianist Barry Harris, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Art Taylor. Essentially a high-energy blowing session, the album features some stellar bop-oriented improvisation and is well worth seeking out.
Every single tune on this album from the haunting "Maiden Voyage" to the gentle, swinging "Dolphin Dance" has found its way into the standard jazz repertoire. Herbie Hancock fashioned a modern jazz milestone with extraordinary compositions, interplay and solos. Analogue Productions' Blue Note and Nat "King" Cole Reissues WIN A Positive Feedback 2010 Brutus Award!
Unjustly ignored at the time of its release, Fred Jackson's lone album, Hootin' 'N Tootin', is a thoroughly enjoyable set of funky soul-jazz with hard bop overtones. It is true that Jackson doesn't try anything new on the set, but he proves to be a capable leader, coaxing hot, infectious performances out of guitarist Willie Jones, organist Earl Vandyke, and drummer Wilbert Hogan, all of whom were collegues of Jackson in the Lloyd Price band. All of the songs on the album are Jackson originals, and while there are no substantial, memorable melodies, they provide an excellent foundation for the group's smoking interplay.
One of Analogue Productions' most successful and collectible projects has been the Miles Davis Quintet/The Great Prestige Recordings deluxe box set on 33 1/3 LP. Now, that beautiful five-album set is being reintroduced. And at 45 RPM, it's more stunning than ever! Featuring a 12" x 12" 16-page gorgeous booklet, packaged with the LPs in a deluxe, heavy-duty box, this set is the end-all of Miles' work for the legendary Prestige label from 1951 through 1956. Stereophile awarded the first incarnation of this set Recording of the Month in their March 1997 issue, giving it five stars for both music and sonics. That was at 33 1/3 RPM. Imagine these same records at 45 RPM!
Tenor Madness was the recording that, once and for all, established Rollins as one of the premier tenor saxophonists, an accolade that in retrospect, has continued through six full decades and gives an indication why as a young player, Rollins was so well liked, as his fluency, whimsical nature, and solid construct of melodies and solos gave him the title of the next Coleman Hawkins or Lester Young of mainstream jazz.
As a trio, this edition of guitarist Grant Green's many ensembles has to rank with the best he had ever fronted. Recorded on April Fool's Day of 1961, the band and music are no joke, as bassist Ben Tucker and drummer Dave Bailey understand in the most innate sense how to support Green, lay back when needed, or strut their own stuff when called upon. Still emerging as an individualist, Green takes further steps ahead, without a pianist, saxophonist, or – most importantly – an organist. His willpower drives this music forward in a refined approach that definitely marks him as a distinctive, immediately recognizable player.