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Various Artists: The Contemporary Records Story

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Lester Koenig (pronounced KAY-nig) was a Hollywood movie executive who was blacklisted for refusing to testify before the HUAC. Having founded the Good Time Jazz label in 1949 to record Dixieland jazz, he created the Contemporary imprint in 1952 for modern classical music and modern jazz to keep himself busy. With The Contemporary Records Story, Fantasy ...

Joe Lovano: I'm All For You

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Joe Lovano's I'm All For You is subtitled Ballad Songbook. Every song is taken at a leisurely pace, and the recording reminds me of Charlie Haden's Quartet West album Haunted Heart. All of the renditions are indeed haunting and very soulful. Lovano has collected three of the best to join him—Hank Jones on piano, George Mraz ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

George Shearing: Lullabies of Birdland - A Musical Autobiography

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George Shearing has written an autobiography entitled Lullaby of Birdland. To coincide with its release, Concord has issued a 2-CD set of the pianist's recordings, entitled Lullabies of Birdland. Most of the selections are from Shearing's 1980s Concord canon, but works from other labels are also here, including three early recordings from MGM and two 1990s ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Cal Tjader: The Best of the Concord Years

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From 1979 to his death in 1982, Cal Tjader recorded six albums for Concord. The record label created a new imprint, Concord Picante, for his Latin recordings. Concord has now released The Best Of The Concord Years, which is made up of two 55 minute CDs, comprising more than a third of Tjader's output for the ...

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The Swingle Singers: Mood Swings

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Ward Swingle is back. Swingle left The Double Six of Paris in 1963 to form his own vocal group, The Swingle Singers, which enjoyed success on both sides of the Atlantic. Forty years later, Swingle has assembled a group of eight (four women and four men) young and very talented singers to carry on.

Mood Swings ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Curtis Stigers: You Inspire Me

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Curtis Stigers, a former rock singer, is probably most famous for having a song on the soundtrack album of The Bodyguard. You Inspire Me is his third album since he got a haircut and joined the Concord label. Upon first listen the record doesn't stand out, but after repeated play it's become a favorite.

Stigers' singing ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Chuck Wayne: Morning Mist

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What a find!

Guitarist Chuck Wayne was a member of George Shearing's original quintet, and he played on Shearing's 1949 breakthrough hit “September in the Rain." For much of the '50s he was Tony Bennett's musical director. He later was a staff musician for CBS television and radio. 1964's Morning Mist was one of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Bill Evans: Getting Sentimental

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Getting Sentimental is a bootleg tape released with the permission of the Evans estate. Like the recordings of The Secret Sessions box, it was recorded without Evans' knowledge by a fan who was a regular customer of the Village Vanguard, in this particular case on January 15, 1978. Bassist Eddie Gomez had recently left Evans after ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Blue Wisp Big Band: A Night At The Wisp

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The Blue Wisp Big Band is a 16 piece orchestra which has performed every Wednesday since 1980 at the Blue Wisp Jazz Club in Cincinnati, Ohio, with few changes in personnel. A Night At The Wisp is the band's first recording of a performance at that venue. The band is led by saxophonists Larry Dickson and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Tom Harrell: Sail Away

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Recorded over two days in March of 1989, Sail Away is surely one of the youngest albums ever to be re-released as an OJC, and presumably the first from the CD era. Two songs from the sessions not on the original CD are included here, bringing the total time to a very generous 79 minutes. Although ...