This set reinstates a number of important piano recordings made for Pacific Jazz (and in the case of Jimmy Rowles Liberty). Russ Freeman and Rowles were seminal to so much of the important music that emanated from Los Angeles in the '50s and '60s that their achievements would be far too many to list here. Freeman's hard swinging style is featured on 14 tracks made between 1952 and '57. Rowles, an encyclopedic piano maestro, is represented by his rare Liberty album Rare - But Well Done and two Pacific Jazz tracks, made the end of sessions by others.
The Pacific Age is the last OMD album to feature founding member Paul Humphreys (although The Best of OMD does collect a pair of subsequent singles). With producer Stephen Hague returning and guests Graham and Martin Weir elevated to full-time members, OMD aggressively targets the American pop market cultivated with Crush and the Top Ten single "If You Leave." With the Weir's horns and a trio of female backing vocalists, the music on The Pacific Age sounds larger than life (the opening "Stay" in particular), a trait common to popular music in the mid-'80s.
Orange Mountain Music presents the world premiere recording of Philip Glass' The Passion of Ramakrishna. Commissioned by the Pacific Symphony and premiered in 2006 during the opening of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, Glass' 45 minute oratorio, written for soloists, chorus and large orchestra, is a passion play and a tribute to 19th Century Indian spiritual leader Sri Ramakrishna. The work portrays his death with the chorus taking up the voice of Ramakrishna himself and the soloists are those of his loved ones, doctor and disciples. Maestro Carl St.Clair, a longtime champion of the music of Philip Glass, leads the Pacific Symphony, Pacific Chorale and soloists Christopheren Numura, Janice Chandler Eteme, Kevin Deas, I-Chin Feinblatt and Nicholas Preston.