Thursday, December 28, 2006

Top Historical Releases of 2006

1. Junior Wells - Live at Theresa's 1975: The music is top notch with Phil Guy (Buddy's under appreciated brother) sparking off hot runs on guitar, and Junior playing superb harp and singing in his deep soulful voice.For a glimpse into a hometown gig from one of Chicago's legends this can't be beat.

2. Miles Davis - Cellar Door Sessions 1970: All of the struggling to get this set out was worth it. Miles and the band are in fighting trim and fully plugged in, melding jazz, rock and R&B into something new.

3. Steve Lacy - Esteem: Live in Paris, 1975: An self-recorded live performance from Paris in 1975, it does lack the quality of a professional live recording, but this is easy to overlook for music of this high quality.

4. Thomas Chapin Trio - Ride: This archival release of the Chapin Trio performing live at the North Sea Jazz Festival brings back fond memories of what a truly special band that was.

5. John Lee Hooker - Hooker: The fisrt comprehensive boxed set covering the length of the great bluesman's career, from his early raw Detroit recordings to his final collaborative projects.

6. Sonny Simmons - Live at the Cheshire Cat: This limited edition release has two steaming sets of the great altoist recorded in 1980.

7. Gerald Wilson - Artist Selects: Composer and arranger Wilson cherry-picks his own favorite recordings from his Pacific Jazz years and provides a perfect introduction to his work.

Send comments to: Tim