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by Nic Jones
As an integral part of the creative rebirth of the Count Basie band in the 1950s, Marshall Royal has been receiving kudos for decades, and rightly so. As a soloist he never got much exposure, however, and this reissue of a body of music recorded in March of 1960 is the nearest thing he got to a showcase.
It's exposure he deserved, but perhaps Gordon Jenkins wasn't the ideal man to provide the settings. The fact of the matter is ...read more
by David Rickert
How to explain the bewitching power of sax and strings albums, especially for those who would never dare go near the easy listening section of their local music store? The best of these records, like Stan Getz's Focus (Verve, 1961) or Bird With Strings (Columbia, 1950), feature terrific arranging married to imaginative playing, reworking melodies, yet never reaching for anything too challenging. From my own perspective, these records retain a special fascination.
This particular pairing, a reissue of ...read more