This DVD highlights the advantages perfectly: there are loads of camera angles, and the cutting between long views and close ups of Jamal's facial expressions and hand gestures to the others, Heard's fingering and Israel's cymbals really adds to the live jazz experience.
A sorely underexposed figure and a major influence on Miles Davis, pianist Ahmad Jamal isn't generally ranked among the all-time giants of jazz, but he impressed fellow musicians and record buyers alike with his innovative, minimalist approach.
This is a fine compilation of Jackie Gleason's output for Columbia. Gleason's objective was to make "musical wallpaper" that should never be intrusive, but rather conducive. He was not musically literate, but never had a problem articulating what he wanted to hear from his orchestra. The music here is quiet, melancholy, and often somber, played at mostly moderate to slow tempos. Each selection seems to flow into the next, achieving Gleason's goal of unobtrusiveness. Collectors may be more interested in seeking out the original LPs that comprise the material here, but for those looking for two CDs worth of some of the most relaxing music ever recorded, this is the place to start.
Sarah Vaughan was an American jazz singer, described by music critic Scott Yanow as having "one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century." Nicknamed "Sassy" and "The Divine One", Sarah Vaughan was a Grammy Award winner. The National Endowment for the Arts bestowed upon her its "highest honor in jazz", the NEA Jazz Masters Award, in 1989. Recordings of Sarah Vaughan were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, which is a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least twenty-five years old, and that have "qualitative or historical significance."
The complete memorable recordings made by Billie Holiday in 1956-57 backed by a small group including Ben Webster, Harry Edison, Jimmy Rowles and Barney Kessel. A complete Holiday set recorded at Newport during the same period has been added as a bonus. Includes 16-page booklet.
Harry Connick, Jr.'s vocals perfectly fit the moods throughout the 1989 Billy Crystal film When Harry Met Sally. This soundtrack album (which stands apart from the movie) was a big hit and a major step forward for the young pianist-vocalist, although it appears to have been the high point of his career. Connick warmly sings such numbers as "It Had to Be You," "Our Love Is Here to Stay," "But Not for Me," and "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off," while usually accompanied by bassist Benjamin Wolfe, drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts, and a big band. Frank Wess' warm tenor makes a brief appearance on "Our Love Is Here to Stay." In addition, there are a few melodic instrumentals, including some solo Connick piano on "Winter Wonderland" and "Autumn in New York." Highly recommended.