Pure… Jazz, a massive four-disc set from Sony in the EU, while not mistitled, is a strange, wildly haphazard selection of jazz tunes recorded between the 1930s through the 1990s by virtually all of the labels the company owns – from Columbia, Epic, OKeh, etc. While all of the artists are names – including Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, Benny Goodman, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Weather Report, Branford Marsalis, Duke Ellington, and dozens more – and are represented by wonderful selections, it's their sequencing that is the real head-scratcher here…
This four-disc, 68-track collection paints a broad definition of the blues, with cuts ranging from vintage country blues (Robert Johnson's “Cross Road Blues,” Son House's “Death Letter Blues”) to uptown jazz blues (Nina Simone's “Blues for My Mama,” Billie Holiday's “Billie’s Blues”), Chicago blues (a live version of “Howling Wolf” by Muddy Waters), British blues (Jeff Beck's “JB’s Blues”), and contemporary acoustic blues (“Am I Wrong” by Keb' Mo'), with plenty of stops in between, making for a random but varied playlist that circles the different approaches and musical definitions of the genre.
One of Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
"Music of My Mind" is widely hailed as Stevie Wonder's artistic rebirth, the beginning of his "classic period." The 1972 release is a breathtaking exploration of soul, sound and the sonic possibilities of the recording studio, shaped as much by his roots in R&B as it is by his interest in electronic instrumentation.