Britain's Got Talent stars The Jive Aces are the UK's # 1 jive and swing band. Renowned for their high energy show, they put Simon Cowell "in a really good mood" and were the first band to reach the BGT semi-finals. They've headlined The Albert Hall, played 30 countries, worked with Van Morrison and played for The Queen. Vol.2 of Diggin' The Roots, this time exploring the branch of "Hot Jazz" that influenced our sound. some fresh arrangements of well loved jazz classics.
In 1960 bassist Charles Mingus helped to organize an alternative Newport Jazz Festival in protest of Newport's conservative and increasingly commercial booking policy. The music on this LP (which has been reissued on CD) features some of the musicians who participated in Mingus's worthy if short-lived venture. Trumpeter Roy Eldridge performs three numbers with pianist Tommy Flanagan, Mingus and drummer Jo Jones; of greatest interest is "Mysterious Blues" for it adds trombonist Jimmy Knepper and the unique altoist Eric Dolphy successfully to the group. The other selections match up drummers Max Roach and Jo Jones with Roach's quintet (featuring trumpeter Booker Little) on "Cliff Walk" and feature singer Abbey Lincoln on "Tain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do."
For anyone seeking an introduction to Rollins the ten tracks provide substantial basis for why he is held in such high regard by jazz fans, fellow musicians, and some jazz critics.
Pure and simple genius from trumpeter Charlie Shavers – a player with a sweet tone and a fluid groove – stepping out here with great accompaniment from pianist Ray Bryant! The CD brings together work from the albums Charlie Digs Paree and Charlie Digs Dixie – both originally recorded for MGM Records in the late 50s, and done in a clean, uncluttered style that really brought a strong focus to Shaver's solos, but also gave some excellent rhythmic support from Bryant – working here at the height of his early powers, in a mode that's clearly relaxed enough to get with the spirit of each different session.
Among the dozens of sessions Django Reinhardt cut with various groups from 1934 to 1953, he would only rarely make trio recordings. This set compiles all of this existing instrumental trios, including a variety of different formations. As a bonus, a rare session by singer Nitta Rette backed by a trio of Django, Stéphane Grappelli and pianist Emil Stern (with plenty of solos by the three instrumentalists), as well as a series of quartet sides which feature Django as a prominent soloist.
Violinists Stéphane Grappelli and Stuff Smith performed together on a few occasions, but this 1965 studio session, first issued by Barclay, was one of the more difficult dates to acquire until Universal Music reissued it on CD in 2002, as a part of their extensive Jazz in Paris series. With a solid rhythm section (pianist René Urtreger, bassist Michel Gaudry, and drummer Michel Delaporte) that pretty much sticks to a supporting role, it is clear that Smith's gritty tone rubs off on Grappelli as the session progresses.
For his third Criss Cross release, guitarist Peter Bernstein leads an all-star organ combo that also includes tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, trombonist Steve Davis, organist Larry Goldings, and drummer Billy Drummond. Some of the music that the quintet performs is typical for this type of hard bop/soul-jazz group, including a hot minor-toned blues, "Means and Ends," and Percy Mayfield's blues ballad "Danger Zone." However, a few of the other selections (particularly Bernstein's four originals) are more complex and serve as evidence that the music was being performed in 1996, not 1966. The musicians all play up to their capabilities and Goldings shows that he was one of the most inventive organists of the decade.