Luis de Milan’s instrument was the Spanish vihuela, shaped like a guitar and tuned like a lute, for the existence of which his book El Maestro (1536) is the earliest known evidence, and one by Antonio de Santa Cruz (seventeenth century, undated) the last. When it was born, and when and why it died, remain unclear. El Maestro was both a collection of pieces and a thoughtful tutor book, containing much valuable information on the music of the time and on the manner of its performance; in some fantasias it is indicated which passages are to be played ‘broadly’ and in time, and which are to be delivered more quickly.
The Legacy Collection plunders the deepest depths of the Disney sound archive to collect, with unprecedented completeness, the audio histories of 11 classic animated films from each era of the Disney Studios, from Lady and the Tramp and Aristocats to Little Mermaid and the Lion King to Toy Story and Wreck-It Ralph, with one more CD devoted just to Disneyland. Each disc contains the full score of a film from opening to closing credits, unreleased rarities, and bonus material. Then there's the books.
In Memoriam. Larry Coryell, a guitarist who played rock 'n' roll as a teen but wound up pioneering jazz-rock fusion starting in the mid-1960s and then psychedelic fusion in the early '70s, died on Feb. 19. He was 73. RIP Mr. Coryell. In the 1970s, Germany's Radio Bremen simulcast a series of modern jazz concerts from all across the spectrum, and wisely archived them. Record producer Consul Bodo Jacoby was looking for a new project after losing the rights to reissue the MPS catalog and recalled them. His Promising Music label is issuing a number of these vintage performances in what he calls the Livelove series, of which January 1975 is the first volume.
Lawrence Brown played trombone off and on with Duke Ellington's orchestra for nearly 40 years. Surprisingly, he only led two albums of his own in his entire career, a set for Impulse in 1965, and this album for Clef (now Verve). Heard either as part of a quintet with tenor saxophonist Sam "The Man" Taylor or with a nonet that includes tenor saxophonist Al Cohn and pianist Hank Jones, Brown is in excellent form on the reissue. The music (not too shockingly) often sounds as if it were an Ellington small group, including such numbers as Brown's longtime feature "Rose of the Rio Grande," "Caravan," "You Took Advantage of Me," and "Blues for Duke." The original LP program is joined by two previously unreleased performances ("Time After Time" and "For All We Know"). Excellent mainstream swing of the 1950s.