This release presents the complete original Verve LP "Going for Myself" reuniting Lester Young and Harry “Sweets” Edison, one Pres’ last studio albums ever. Backing Pres and Sweets are superb musicians like Oscar Peterson, Louie Bellson and Herb Ellis. Five extra tracks have been added to the contents of the original album, including three alternate takes and two tunes not included on the originally issued set.
The debut by Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy (an octet consisting of four trumpets, both Craig Harris and Steve Turre on trombones, the French horn of Vincent Chancey, Bob Stewart on tuba and drummer Phillip Wilson) is one of their best recordings. Rather than playing their interpretations of pop tunes (which would be the direction Brass Fantasy would head in the future), this album finds the musicians performing originals by Bowie (including "When the Spirit Returns"), Stewart, trumpeters Bruce Purse and Malachi Thompson and the standard title cut. The music is both whimsical and explorative, making for a colorful set.
The complete oeuvre runs to 38 CDs, which will now be packaged in seven boxes. Some may mistrust any classical project that describes itself with the word "marathon," but the endless variety of Scarlatti's sonatas compels the skeptic to make an exception; a complete set turns up any number of deliciously bizarre pieces like the Sonata in A minor, K. 3, from the Essercizi per gravicembalo (CD 1, track 3), with its cascades of five-note runs meandering out into strange chromatic lines.
1999's Superharps was a great record featuring four top blues harmonica players. Two years later, Superharps II was an attempt to duplicate the success with four other harmonica wizards (in this case Carey Bell, Lazy Lester, Raful Neal, and Snooky Pryor). There are five individual features, eight songs that have two harmonicas, and a remake of the closing "Harp to Harp," which has all four harmonica players.
This LP from the collectors' label Jazz Archives includes the soundtrack of the award-winning short film Jammin' the Blues, which in 1944 gave Lester Young, Harry "Sweets" Edison and Illinois Jacquet an opportunity to be seen as well as heard. Not only are the three songs from the film on this set, but also three other previously unheard performances from the same date that did not make it onto the screen. ~ AllMusic
Two very different sessions are combined on this two-LP set. Trumpeter Lester Bowie and a quintet also including Ari Brown on tenor and soprano, pianist Art Matthews, bassist Fred Williams, and drummer Phillip Wilson, are often used to accompany the soulful and gospel-oriented vocals of Fontella Bass and David Peaston (in addition to taking colorful solos). The 12-minute "For Louie" and a suite that is dominated by an emotional version of "Everything Must Change" are highlights; also memorable is a brief version of Albert Ayler's "Ghosts." The second album is quite a bit different, a set of unaccompanied trumpet solos by Bowie that are often quite humorous.