Under the guidance of producer Geoffrey Chung, Pablo Moses made his recorded debut in 1975 with "I Man a Grasshopper": an autobiographical herb tale cut at Lee "Scratch" Perry's Black Ark studio. Featuring Chung himself on clavinet, his brother Mikey and the In Crowd's Michael Murray on rhythm and lead guitar, Clive Hunt on bass, and Robby Lyn on piano, the song provided Hunt's Sound Track label with a hit single. Moses followed up with a small batch of reality gems like "Blood Money," "We Should Be in Angola," and "One People," further boosting the singer's profile, both in Jamaica and the U.K. Revolutionary Dream, Moses' debut full-length released in 1976, brought most of those early singles together with eight additional mid-'70s productions. Throughout, the singer maintains a peaceful disposition, expounding thoughtfully upon cultural and reality subjects over the slow tempos established by drummer Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace. The music is characterized by a refined cool, and Geoffrey Chung isn't afraid to tilt the sound toward a rock influence with a guitar solo or two (note Murray's leads on "I Man a Grasshopper"). Underneath the polished productions.
While it's true that Oscar Peterson compilations appeared with regularity form the early '60s on, only a few of them – as with most recording artists – have any real merit. This two-disc collection from the Concord Music Group's Telarc label, is one of them. Appearing less than a year before his death, this compilation concentrates on recordings issued from the '50s through the middle of the '80s on Dizzy Gillespie's Pablo label, and those made for Telarc between 1990 and 2000. Many live dates are included here from both labels, including "Tenderly" with Herb Ellis and Ray Brown at the J.A.T.P. concerts in Japan; the trio dates at Zardi's in 1955 ("How High the Moon"), in Copenhagen with Joe Pass, Stéphane Grappelli, and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen in 1979, and Mickey Roker in 1979 ("Nuages")….
Joe Pass became famous with his unaccompanied guitar showcase on Virtuoso, the beginning of a very notable series. However, this double CD (a reissue of a 1983 double LP plus three new performances) actually preceded the first Virtuoso by a month and differed in that Pass exclusively chose to play acoustic guitar, rather than electric. The relatively little-known set finds the guitarist sounding very much like a self-sufficient orchestra, and although his tone is necessarily softer on acoustic than electric, he swings hard on the uptempo pieces. Among the many highlights are "Indian Summer," "My Shining Hour," "I'll Remember April" and "Limehouse Blues."
Virtuoso No. 2, the second of Joe Pass' solo guitar albums for Pablo, finds the remarkable Pass exploring more recent standards than one might expect. In addition to a few warhorses, there is also "Feelings" (which he somehow manages to make tolerable), "If," two Chick Corea songs ("Five Hundred Miles High" and "Windows") and even "Giant Steps." Pass' mastery of the guitar is obvious throughout this enjoyable set.