This four-CD set contains 112 performances by the Trio from 1938-1941, radio transcriptions made especially to be played on the air. The early trio is instantly recognizable and, although there is a greater reliance on group vocals and guest singers (including Bonnie Lake, Juanelda Carter, Pauline and Her Perils, and the Dreamers) rather than on Cole's solo vocals, the music is not all that different from what the King Cole Trio would be playing a few years later when they became much better known.
This edition contains all 1962 collaborations by Joe Pass and pianist Les McCann, who would continue working together the following year. Their 1962 output consists of their participation on Richard “Groove” Holmes LP "Somethin' Special" (Pacific Jazz PJ-ST51) and on McCann's own album "On Time" (Pacific Jazz PJ56). Both records appear here in their entirety, as well as two tracks from the second LP that were not included on the original album. As a bonus, the complete LP "Back in Town!" (Pacific Jazz PJ54/World Pacific Jazz ST20150). Issued under the name of singer/guitarist Bumble Bee Slim (born Amos Easton), it consisted of two sessions, one featuring Pass, and the other featuring McCann.
Because the Jazz Crusaders in the early '70s dropped the "Jazz" from their name and later in the decade veered much closer to R&B and pop music than they had earlier, it is easy to forget just how strong a jazz group they were in the 1960s. This CD reissues one of their rarer sessions, augmenting the original seven-song LP program (highlighted by "Blues Up Tight," "Doin' That Thing," and "Milestones") with previously unissued versions of "'Round Midnight" and John Coltrane's "Some Other Blues." The Jazz Crusaders (comprised of tenor saxophonist Wilton Felder, trombonist Wayne Henderson, pianist Joe Sample, drummer Stix Hooper, and, during this period, bassist Leroy Vinnegar) are heard in prime form.