Concord Music Group releases three new titles in its Original Jazz Classics Remasters series. Enhanced with 24-bit remastering by Joe Tarantino, bonus tracks on each release (some previously unissued), and new liner notes to provide historical context to the originally released material, the series showcases pivotal recordings of the past several decades by artists whose influence on the jazz tradition continues to reverberate among jazz musicians and audiences well into the 21st Century.
Originally recorded in 1957, these sessions turned out to be the last the legendary Big Bill Broonzy would record; only a little over a year later, he succumbed to lung cancer. This collection consists not of fan or producer favorites, but Broonzy favorites, and includes a variety of blues, folk, and devotional music. Though he was instrumental to the development of the blues and the Chicago sound, much of the material on this three-disc set reaches back to the music that the blues came from, with a lot of drop-in help from Broonzy's friends, of which there were many. That makes these recordings not only recordings, but documentation, a testament to a bluesman who was at once musician and historian.
This release presents a complete never before released live performance by the great Bill Evans with an unusual trio that never made a studio album (featuring drummer Philly Joe Jones and bassist Marc Johnson). Joining them are Lee Konitz for three amazing quartet tracks, Curtis Fuller (who joins Konitz and the trio for a marvelous quintet version of Lover Man), and Stan Getz and Christian Escoude (who join Fuller and the trio for the finale on All the Things You Are). A rare interview with Evans made right after the Nice concert has also been included on this release, as well as another unissued concert by the same trio taped in Italy a few days later.
An extension of the popular Original Jazz Classics series (est. 1982), the new OJC Remasters releases reveal the sonic benefits of 24-bit remastering-a technology that didn't exist when these titles were originally issued on compact disc. The addition of newly-written liner notes further enhances the illuminating quality of the OJC Remasters reissues. "Each of the recordings in this series is an all-time jazz classic," says Nick Phillips, Vice President of Jazz and Catalog A&R at Concord Music Group and producer of the series.
Bill Jennings was a very short man, but a giant on guitar—entirely self-taught, his attack and phrasing were astoundingly sax-like. As a jazz musician, he always insisted on soul as well as sound. That is not to say that he was not a perfectionist and a precisionist, for indeed he was. Although an ardent admirer of the great guitars in jazz, Jennings was always biased towards reeds and (admittedly a frustrated saxophonist) claimed that his style had been heavily influenced by Charlie Parker and Herschel Evans.