Sarah Vaughan – Sarah Vaughan In Hi-Fi

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The title was heralding the newest technolgy, high fidelity, a sonic wonder that preceeded stereo, and Miss Vaughn was an early subject of this technoligical breakthrough. Recorded for Columbia spanning the years 1949 to 1952, this is a wonderful recording of Miss Vaughn’s. She recorded eight selections in 1950 with an octet that included trumpeter Miles Davis, trombonist Benny Green, the remarkably cool clarinetist Tony Scott and tenorman Budd Johnson. This CD adds alternate takes to seven of the numbers, increasing the discography of both Sassy and Miles. This version of “Ain’t Misbehavin’” is a true classic (with memorable eight-bar solos by each of the four horns); “Mean to Me” and “Nice Work If You Can Get It” are gems, and the other performances are not far behind. In addition, Vaughan sings two versions of “The Nearness of You” in 1949; there is also a previously unknown recording of “It’s All In the Mind,” and three orchestra numbers from 1951 and 1953 wrap up the outstanding reissue. Sassy has rarely sounded better. Highly recommended. (allmusic)

Personnel includes: Sarah Vaughan (vocals); Hymie Schertzer (alto saxophone); Artie Drelinger, George Kelly, Budd Johnson (tenor saxophone); Stan Webb (baritone saxophone); Russ Bazer, Harold Feldman (saxophone); Billy Butterfield, Taft Jordan, Miles Davis, Jimmy Maxwell, J. Milazzo, Red Solomon (trumpet); Will Bradley, Bennie Green, Jack Sattersfield (trombone); Tony Scott (clarinet); Jimmy Jones (piano, guitar); Lou Stein (piano); Al Cailoa, Freddie Green, Mundell Lowe, Art Ryerson (guitar); Eddie Safranski, Billy Taylor, Jr., Frank Carroll (bass); Cozy Cole, J.C. Heard, Terry Snyder (drums).

Tracklist

01. East Of The Sun (West Of The Moon)
02. Nice Work If You Can Get It
03. Come Rain Or Come Shine
04. Mean To Me
05. It Might As Well Be Spring
06. Can’t Get Out Of This Mood
07. Goodnight My Love
08. Ain’t Misbehavin’
09. Pinky
10. The Nearness Of You
11. Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year
12. Ooh, What-Cha Doin’ To Me
13. It’s All In The Mind
14. The Nearness Of You (Alternate Take)
15. Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Alternate Take)
16. Goodnight My Love (Alternate Take)
17. Can’t Get Out Of This Mood (Alternate Take)
18. It Might As Well Be Spring (Alternate Take)
19. Mean To Me (Alternate Take)
20. Come Rain Or Come Shine (Alternate Take)
21. East Of The Sun (West Of The Moon) (Alternate Take)
22. Pause Track

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Billie Holiday – Stay With Me

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A ’91 reissue from late in Billie Holiday’s career. She was fading, but hadn’t lost the dramatic quality in her delivery, nor her ability to project and tell a shattering story. She’s backed by trumpeter Charlie Shavers, pianist Oscar Peterson, guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Ed Shaughnessy.

Tracklist

01. I Wished On The Moon
02. Ain’t Misbehavin’
03. Everything Happens To Me
04. Say It Isn’t So
05. I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
06. Always
07. Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me
08. How Deep Is The Ocean
09. What A Little Moonlight Can Do
10. I Cried For You

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Horace Silver – Horace Silver And The Jazz Messengers

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In 1954, pianist Horace Silver teamed with drummer Art Blakey to form a cooperative ensemble that would combine the dexterity and power of bebop with the mid-tempo, down-home grooves of blues and gospel music. The results are what would become known as hard bop, and the Jazz Messengers were one of the leading exponents of this significant era in jazz history. Before Silver’s departure and Blakey’s lifetime of leadership, this first major session by the original Jazz Messengers set the standard by which future incarnations of the group would be measured.

The tunes here are all Silver’s, save the bopping “Hankerin’” by tenor man Hank Mobley. Such cuts as the opening “Room 608,” the bluesy “Creepin’ In,” and “Hippy” are excellent examples of both Silver’s creative composing style and the Messengers’ signature sound. Of course, the most remembered tunes from the session are the classic “The Preacher” and “Doodlin’,” two quintessential hard bop standards. In all, this set is not only a stunning snapshot of one of the first groups of its kind but the very definition of a style that dominated jazz in the ’50s and ’60s and enjoyed a resurgence in the ’80s. (cduniverse)

Personnel: Horace Silver (piano); Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone); Kenny Dorham (trumpet); Doug Watkins (double bass); Art Blakey (drums).

Tracklist

01. Room 608
02. Creepin’ In
03. Stop Time
04. To Whom It May Concern
05. Hippy
06. The preacher
07. Hankerin’
08. Doodlin’

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Billie Holiday – Lady Sings the Blues

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Taken from a couple of sessions taped during 1955-1956, Lady Sings the Blues finds Holiday in top form and backed by the sympathetic likes of tenor saxophonists Budd Johnson and Paul Quinichette, trumpeter Charlie Shavers, pianist Wynton Kelly, and guitarist Billy Bauer. And while these autumnal sides bear some of the frayed vocal moments often heard on Holiday’s ’50s Verve sides, the majority here still ranks with her best material. This is especially true of the cuts from a June 1956 date, which produced unparalleled versions of “No Good Man,” “Some Other Spring,” and “Lady Sings the Blues.”

Personnel: Billie Holiday (vocals); Kenny Burrell, Barney Kessel (guitar); Anthony Sciacca (clarinet); Willie “The Lion” Smith (alto saxophone); Paul Quinichette (tenor saxophone); Harry “Sweets” Edison , Charlie Shavers (trumpet); Wynton Kelly, Bobby Tucker (piano); Red Callender, Aaron Bell (bass guitar); Chico Hamilton, Leonard Browne (drums).

Tracklist

01. Say It Isn’t So
02. I ‘ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
03. I Wished On The Moon
04. Always
05. Everything Happens To Me
06. Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me
07. Ain’t Misbehavin’
08. Trav’lin Light
09. I Must Have That Man!
10. Some Other Spring
11. Lady Sings The Blues
12. Strange Fruit
13. God Bless The Child
14. Good Morning Heartache
15. No Good Man
16. Rehearsal for God Bless The Child

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Kenny Dorham – Afro-Cuban

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The late Kenny Dorham was a fairly unique figure in jazz, in that he played with Charlie Parker and Andrew Hill, representatives of both the original bebop school and with the Blue Note post-bop scene of the 1960s. Afro-Cuban, originally issued in 1955, is one of Dorham’s finest albums, highlighting his skill as composer, bandleader, and, of course, trumpeter. Half the album is a melding of melodically imaginative bop and the African-based rhythms of Cuba and the Caribbean, while the remainder is more straight-up bebop. The playing is exemplary and fresh, as befitting a posse of players that includes Hank Mobley, Horace Silver, and Art Blakey in their younger days. The tunes, nearly all originals, are tight and trim–all killer, no filler.

Personnel: Kenny Dorham (trumpet); Kenny Dorham; Oscar Pettiford, Percy Heath (bass guitar); Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone); Cecil Payne (baritone saxophone); J.J. Johnson (trombone); Horace Silver (piano); Art Blakey (drums); Carlos “Patato” Valdes (congas); Richie Goldberg (cowbells).

Tracklist

01. Afrodisia
02. Lotus Flower
03. Minor’s Holiday
04. Minor’s Holiday (Alternate Take)
05. Basheer’s Dream
06. K.D.’s Motion
07. La Villa
08. Venita’s Dance
09. K.D.’s Cab Ride

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The Modern Jazz Quartet – Concorde

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The first Modern Jazz Quartet album to feature drummer Connie Kay (replacing Kenny Clarke), 1955′s Concorde finds the ensemble easing into its long-running lineup, rounded out by vibes player Milt Jackson, pianist John Lewis, and bassist Percy Heath. In addition to originals by Jackson (the light, lilting “Ralph’s New Blues”) and Lewis (the bright, upbeat title track), the MJQ offers up an excellent selection of standards, most notably a fast-paced take on “I’ll Remember April” that has Kay earning his stripes with some impressive cymbal work.

The Modern Jazz Quartet: John Lewis (piano); Milt Jackson (vibraphone); Percy Heath (bass); Connie Kay (drums).

Tracklist

01. Ralph’s New Blues
02. All Of You
03. I’ll Remember April
04. Gershwin Medley: Soon / For You, For Me, Forevermore / Love Walked In / Our Love Is Here To Stay
05. Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise
06. Concorde

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Lionel Hampton & Stan Getz – Hamp and Getz

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In the 1950s, producer Norman Granz loved to team together swing and bop all-stars in jam session settings. One of his most inspired ideas was having vibraphonist Lionel Hampton and tenor-saxophonist Stan Getz interact in a quintet with pianist Lou Levy, bassist Leroy Vinnegar and drummer Shelly Manne. While Hampton was the definitive swing vibraphonist and the epitome of hot, Getz’s cool tone was highly influential, particularly on ballads. The two giants had not crossed paths much before their 1955 meeting.

What these masterful musicians most had in common, in addition to brilliant technique and very individual sounds, was a strong competitiveness that made their solos particularly exciting. When matched with equally talented musicians, they tended to be quite inspired, and that is what happened on this classic set. A four-song ballad medley, a couple originals and a version of Louise are all excellent but the highpoints are the explosive uptempo jams on Cherokee and Jumpin’ At The Woodside. Hamp and Getz really rip into those tunes, taking lengthy solos, riffing hard and challenging each other for chorus after chorus.

The results are quite memorable, making this a highly recommended set for fans of Hampton, Getz, bebop and straightahead jazz.

Tracklist

01. Cherokee
02. Louise
03. Ballad Medley
04. Jumpin’ At The Woodside
05. Gladys (Alternate)
06. Gladys (Master)
07. Headache

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Sonny Rollins – Work Time

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Coaxed out of seclusion in Chicago to replace Harold Land in the Clifford Brown/Max Roach quintet in 1954, this 1955 release was Rollins’ first album as a leader since the conclusion of his first self-imposed sabbatical. Roach is on hand in the drummer’s seat, spurring Rollins along every step of the way. Not that the tenorist needs much spurring–he comes flying out of the gate on the opening tune, “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and doesn’t let up for the duration of the session. He takes his first chorus on “Show Business” with only bassist George Morrow for support; when the drums come in he blows ferocious double-time before giving way to Roach’s extremely musical solo.

Rollins and Roach also work off of each other to great effect on “Raincheck,” trading fours on this imaginative selection from the from the Billy Strayhorn catalog. Even on the more relaxed tempo of “There Are Such Things,” Rollins’ exploration of the changes combines a classic tenor’s warm breathy tone with a bebopper’s determination to leave no possibility unconsidered. Pianist Ray Bryant’s playing is also impeccable throughout.

Tracklist

01. There’s No Business Like Show Business
02. Paradox
03. Raincheck
04. There Are Such Things
05. It’s All Right With Me

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Miles Davis Albums!

Miles Dewey Davis III (May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991) was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer.

Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Miles Davis was, with his musical groups, at the forefront of several major developments in jazz music, including bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, modal jazz, and jazz fusion. Many well-known musicians rose to prominence as members of Davis’ ensembles, including saxophonists Gerry Mulligan, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, George Coleman, Wayne Shorter, and Kenny Garrett; trombonist J. J. Johnson; pianists Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and Keith Jarrett; guitarists John McLaughlin, John Scofield and Mike Stern; bassists Paul Chambers, Ron Carter, and Dave Holland; and drummers Tony Williams, Billy Cobham and Jack DeJohnette.

On October 7, 2008, his album Kind of Blue, released in 1959, received its fourth platinum certification from the RIAA, signifying sales of 4 million copies. Miles Davis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Davis was noted as “one of the key figures in the history of jazz”.

On November 5, 2009, Rep. John Conyers of Michigan sponsored a measure in the US House of Representatives to recognize and commemorate the album Kind of Blue on its 50th anniversary. The measure also affirms jazz as a national treasure and “encourages the United States government to preserve and advance the art form of jazz music.” It passed, unanimously, with a vote of 409–0 on December 15, 2009.

for more info: wikipedia.org/wiki/Miles_Davis

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