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Jazz - Released July 20, 2018 | Parlophone UK

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Jazz - Released July 20, 2018 | Parlophone UK

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Jazz - Released July 20, 2018 | Parlophone UK

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Bebop - Released May 12, 2017 | Parlophone UK

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Jazz - Released May 12, 2017 | Parlophone UK

Jazz - Released February 23, 2015 | Parlophone UK

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Bebop - Released June 15, 1958 | Parlophone UK

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Bebop - Released June 15, 1960 | Parlophone UK

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Bebop - Released June 15, 1958 | Parlophone UK

Trumpeter Maynard Ferguson leads his big band in a fiery date recorded in 1958, not at the Newport Festival but in New York. He was playing no-holds-barred, straight-ahead jazz at this time, and doing it with gusto. The band included Bill Chase in his pre-fusion period, Slide Hampton, and Carmen Leggion, and had a good mix between veterans and emerging youngsters. This material has been reissued on Fresh Sound and Roulette CDs. ~ Ron Wynn
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Bebop - Released June 15, 1960 | Parlophone UK

Maynard Ferguson's bands of the early '60s produced many memorable albums, including this studio effort. Sax player and bandmember Willie Maiden contributed two originals. "The Jazz Bary" is a fun feature for baritone saxophonist Frank Hittner and Ferguson (who plays the rarely heard baritone horn), in which they play in unison, in thirds, and trade solos. "Three More Foxes" features trumpeters Dick Hiefer and Don Ellis and the leader, each taking turns soloing. This upbeat blues showcases great comping by pianist Jaki Byard as well. Liner note writer George T. Simon slips in a hilarious pun about Maiden's chart of "Ol' Man River," which "starts flowing with a mad Maiden form." The remaining charts were contributed by Slide Hampton (though he isn't present on the recording itself). "Foxy" is a bluesy feature for young tenor saxophonist Joe Farrell and the leader. "Newport," which was premiered at the 1959 festival there, is an elaborate suite with many flavors: a funeral-like dirge, a powerful uptempo blues that suggests the influence of Duke Ellington's "I'm Gonna Go Fishin'" in spots, and delicious call and response between the brass and reed sections. And he brings out his gospel roots in his scoring of the spiritual "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child," the album's only relatively low-key number. Long out of print (though it was available as part of Mosaic's limited-edition CD box set of Maynard Ferguson's Roulette recordings), this is one of the trumpeter's very best LPs. ~ Ken Dryden
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Jazz - Released August 24, 2012 | Parlophone UK

This 1964 release finds versatile pianist Ray Bryant in a crowd-pleasing frame of mind. The 12 tracks provide solid grooves, lyrical ballads, blues, calypso, a bit of boogie-woogie, and more. Supported by a lively, yet unremarkable, rhythm section, the accessible melodies, riffs, and rhythms stream effortlessly from Bryant's fingers. Though he works well within the structure of each piece, the pianist's impressive technique, facility, and encyclopedic musicianship are constant, as is the sense that Bryant is content to make enjoyable music that makes no demands on the audience. Bryant's populist approach here does little to satisfy listeners looking for more from a pianist whose reliable, steadfast, and frequently inventive presence can be heard on recordings by jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Tiny Grimes, Jo Jones, Coleman Hawkins, Art Taylor, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, and others. On Davis' great 1955 release Quintet & Sextet, which includes one of Bryant's compositions, the pianist reveals himself as a player very much attuned to Davis' smouldering cool. On Sonny Rollins on Impulse!, from 1965, Bryant confirms his skills, as he calmly negotiates the unpredictable, idiosyncratic trajectory of Rollins' version of "On Green Dolphin Street." While such moments of probing brilliance are not to be found on Cold Turkey, Bryant's skill remains beyond reproach. Cold Turkey may not be a great jazz date, but it's solid entertainment. Bryant is apparently quite content with that. ~ Jim Todd
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Jazz - Released March 19, 2012 | Parlophone UK

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Jazz - Released November 7, 2011 | Parlophone UK

A veteran of British entertainment, Strictly Come Dancing presenter Bruce Forsyth made a rare foray into the recording studio at the age of 83, with only the fourth album of his illustrious 70-year career, These Are My Favourites. Produced by jazz trumpet virtuoso James McMillan, the 13-track selection of easy listening standards includes covers of Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," Barry Manilow's "I Made It Through the Rain," and My Fair Lady number "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face," alongside duets with Nat King Cole ("Paper Moon") and granddaughter Sophie Purdie ("Smile"). ~ Jon O'Brien
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Jazz - Released July 8, 2011 | Parlophone UK

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Jazz - Released February 20, 2006 | Parlophone UK

The 14 cuts on Stan Getz's Music for Lovers -- as part of Blue Note's eight-part series -- were all recorded between 1950 and '53. With the exception of "Early Autumn," on which Getz is a member of Woody Herman & His Orchestra, and "Easy Living," as a member of Count Basie's band, these were all small group sessions, quartets. and quintets. There are a number of classics here, such as "Moonlight in Vermont," with the saxophonists' memorable solo and Johnny Smith's empathic guitar playing. Ditto that with Jimmy Raney playing on "These Foolish Things" (which also featured Duke Jordan on piano) and "Tenderly." Another high moment is "Imagination," where Getz interacts with pianist Horace Silver (who has his own volume in this series). This is a lush collection, full of nuanced, graceful ballads and elegant love songs. Everything here comes from the standards book, something Getz was, throughout his career, able to make his own. This is indeed music for lovers, over-the-top romantic, but never, syrupy or melodramatic. This is the first of two volumes that bear Getz's name, and both are worth owning. ~ Thom Jurek
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Jazz - Released December 14, 1992 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions Sélection du Mercury Prize
Stan Tracey has long been a part of the British music scene, having played with Ted Heath's Orchestra in the 1940s. He also served as the house pianist for most of the '60s at Ronnie Scott's, where he had the opportunity to back many visiting American jazz stars, including Sonny Rollins, Zoot Sims, Dexter Gordon, and Stan Getz. Many of the pieces on Portraits Plus are dedicated to his favorite American players (though he didn't necessarily play with all of them). Leading a potent octet, the pianist begins with "Newk's Fluke," a chugging, engaging post-bop vehicle which includes a blend of Latin and Brazilian rhythms and potent ensembles. "Rocky Mount," named for Thelonious Monk's North Carolina birthplace, has the flavor of a Monk composition and a burning tenor sax solo by Art Themen. The moody "One for Gil" salutes Gil Evans, while "Clinkscales" (named for Duke Ellington's first piano teacher) is a swinging up-tempo blues that has a passionate Peter King alto sax solo. The remaining two songs are not portraits, but they round out the session very nicely. Licensed by Blue Note for issue in the United States, this excellent CD didn't remain in print long and may be getting somewhat difficult to find. ~ Ken Dryden
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Jazz - Released September 4, 2009 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released June 5, 2006 | Parlophone UK

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Gospel - Released July 20, 2009 | Parlophone UK

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Jazz - Released June 23, 2003 | Parlophone UK