These two albums from Tower Records' "Exclusive CDs from Blue Note compilation series feature classic jazz in a celebration of good music and how it makes us feel. It's uplifting. Each of these selected gems connects as the feeling goes right through us.
Jazz Super Hits
John F. Kennedy and his family had us convinced that everything was looking up, so the years just before and after 1960 were good ones. We all had a feeling that whatever we created would last forever. Furthermore, we had every reason to believe that it would, indeed. "Watermelon Man gave us a cool strut to carry around with us everywhere, "The Sidewinder left us feeling on top of the world, and "Blues Walk cemented the image firmly in our minds about what jazz could do for you. Lou Donaldson, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Dexter Gordon, Lee Morgan and Joe Henderson defined it for us.
Benny Golson gave us "Blues March, which provided the jazz world with cause for celebration. Art Blakey's quintets were paving the way for generations to come, and Golson's tenor was at the top of the ladder. Horace Silver created dozens of remarkable songs, and his "Song for My Father, with Joe Henderson, Carmell Jones, Teddy Smith and Roger Humphries, stood out as one of the finest. It fit the scene then as it does now. The mood has always been there. As Cannonball Adderley would say, "Sometimes we don't know just what to do when adversity takes over. He and Joe Zawinul brought us "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy to quell our fears. The world did change, but the music has always been there.
The guitar/organ combo of the late '60s and early '70s gave us a loose slant on jazz that combined with blues to produce a comfortable feeling like no other. The music inspires. It gets right down into our psyche as a celebration of life. Lou Donaldson teamed up with Dr. Lonnie Smith and Mel Sparks. So did Fathead Newman and Lee Morgan. George Coleman forged a brief alliance with Reuben Wilson and Grant Green. Several of the albums from which these selections stem, however, are now out of print.
Big John Patton and Grant Green bring us "Ain't That Peculiar, with a driving force. With Emanuel Riggins on electric piano, Green brings us "Never Can Say Goodbye, with a much more familiar air that lasts. From a 1969 album, Love Bug, he teams up with Lee Morgan, Reuben Wilson, George Coleman, Jimmy Lewis and Idris Muhammad for "Hold On, I'm Coming, which features the tenor saxophonist's big, bold and muscular tone in a swift, swinging affair. "Think creates a soulful party mood, while "Soul Limbo features Candido Camero in a lively Latin affair.
The other albums in this limited-release compilation series include Blues in the Pocket, Blue Funk, Great Jazz Tenor Saxophone, Blue Bossa Nova, Great Jazz Organ, Great Jazz Piano, Sanctified and Ultimate Cool. For more information on the series, click here.
Tracks and Personnel
Jazz Super Hits
Tracks: Mercy, Mercy, Mercy; Watermelon Man; Song for My Father; Blues March; The Sidewinder; Blues Walk.
Personnel: Cannonball Adderley, Lou Donaldson: alto saxophone; Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson, Benny Golson: tenor saxophone; Nat Adderley: cornet; Freddie Hubbard, Carmell Jones, Lee Morgan: trumpet; Joe Zawinul, Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver, Bobby Timmons, Herman Foster, Barry Harris: piano; Victor Gaskin, Butch Warren, Teddy Smith, Bob Cranshaw, Patrick Morrison, Jymie Merritt: bass; Roger Humphries, Roy McCurdy, Billy Higgins, Dave Bailey, Art Blakey: drums; Ray Barretto: congas.
Tracks: Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky (from Now On); Shake; Ain't That Peculiar; Think; Never Can Say Goodbye; Hold On, I'm Coming; Soul Limbo.
Personnel: Lou Donaldson, James Spaulding: alto saxophone; Stanley Turrentine, David "Fathead Newman, Joe Grimm, George Coleman: tenor saxophone; Pepper Adams: baritone saxophone; Blue Mitchell, Lee Morgan, Pat Russo, Jimmy Sedlar: trumpet; Alan Raph: trombone; Melvin Sparks, David Spinozza, Grant Green: guitar; Big John Patton, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Frank Anderson, Reuben Wilson: organ; Emanuel Riggins: electric piano; Billy Wooten: vibraphone; McCoy Tyner: piano; Chuck Rainey, Jerry Jemmott, Jimmy Lewis, Bob Cranshaw: bass; Idris Muhammad, Mickey Roker, Marion Booker, Jr., Herb Lovelle, Hugh Walker: drums; Candido Camero, Richard Landrum: congas; Ray Armando: percussion.