Tuesday Sep 17


CD edges

Multiple reviews in each article:  favorites lists, reissue programs, artist profiles, label profiles, and more.


15 results - showing 1 - 10 1 2
(Almost) complete Sonny Rollins on RCA

On many levels, I'm highly pleased with my recent purchase of Original Album Classics by Sonny Rollins. Let me count the ways.

Rollins Box

Ellington in Paris and Kenton at Newport

Fantasy Records surprised me [in 2002] with a double-barreled blast of (officially) previously unreleased live recordings by the Duke Ellington and Stan Kenton Orchestras.  They are, respectively Duke Ellington at the Alhambra: Pablo PACD-5313-2 and Stan Kenton Orchestra: Stompin' at Newport. Pablo PACD-5312-2).

Ellington at the AlhambraKenton at Newport


Jazz singing has largely degenerated into an ill-considered revival of swing era pop-jazz chirping and cabaret performances that masquerade as jazz. Female singers are mostly at fault, but there are male practitioners who equally confuse the matter of singing jazz with jazzy singing. So does the listening public, of course.


Here are ten recent [2008] favorites in no particular order. As usual, if I were to construct a similar list next week, it could differ considerably.


Fantasy Records [now part of Concord Music Group] says that it holds "The World's Mightiest Jazz Catalog" and has been releasing a series of Original Jazz Classics samplers to support the claim. Three are based on '50s and '60s recordings that came out on smaller and subsidiary labels like Jazzland, New Jazz, Specialty, and HiFiJazz.  Those three are, to me, the most interesting so far. That's probably because most of the performances and even a number of the performers are less well known than the relatively big names and familiar performances that the earlier Fantasy, Prestige, Riverside, and Contemporary compilations quite naturally present.

OJC Jazzland


Here are a few listening recommendations that I came up with a few years back.  Most are still available here or there.



Kenny Burrell

The 2005 Prestige Profiles series of CDs merits a strong recommendation and a minor warning. Taking the latter first, you should know that these compilations are exactly the same as the corresponding Best Of... CDs that came out in 2004.


Toward the end of 2005, an email from my editor announced that it was time to draw up another favorite recordings list. The annual discomfort welled up. Some reviewers may welcome this sort of task. I don't.

I could ease some of the pain by keeping listening notes throughout the year. But that would enforce a year's worth of cognitive deliberation that would interfere with my musical pleasure.

When There Are Grey Skies


Throughout the year [2003] I kept track of a few special recordings so I'd be ready.  I'm going to keep descriptions terse.  These are in utterly random order, by the way.

Reaching Out LPReaching Out CD


2002 has been an odd year for me as far as adding music to my collection goes. Very few new releases have grabbed my attention and the reissues have often been problematic.

Modern Jazz Sextet

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