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Archive for July 19th, 2011

Armstrong, Fitzgerald, Peterson Featured on Hip-o’s Expanded “Hollywood Bowl”

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The names of the greatest producers in jazz history still resonate today. The likes of Orrin Keepnews, Creed Taylor and Norman Granz (to name a mere three) all pioneered production and promotion styles that made their releases both identifable and enduring.  Next week will see the release on Hip-o Select of a major project by that third-named gentleman. Granz (1918-2001) founded five record labels in his lifetime, but none more renowned than Verve. That label was created by Granz in 1956, and the very same year, he recorded the first-ever jazz concert at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl, a venue which opened in 1922 and still hosts prestigious concerts today. (The famous bandshell didn’t come along until 1929, however!) Jazz at the Hollywood Bowl brought together some of the biggest names of the genre: Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Flip Phillips, Illinois Jacquet, Roy Eldridge, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown and Buddy Rich. The concert was released as a deluxe 2-LP set, but has never been released on CD. Hip-o Select’s Verve Select imprint rectifies this with a new CD reissue, but the pot has been sweetened by the addition of 11 previously unreleased tracks performed by Louis Armstrong! (These tracks are almost simultaneously appearing as one complete disc on Universal U.K.’s ambitious 10-CD box set Satchmo: Louis Armstrong, The Ambassador of Jazz.  Read about that exciting project here!) 

The American debut of the Armstrong set is just one reason that this new package is an essential one. Satchmo had been heard on the original vinyl edition in two duets with Ella Fitzgerald (“You Won’t Be Satisfied” and “Undecided”) but the trumpeter’s full set could not be included on the original LP. Eleven previously unreleased tracks have been reinstated, bringing the total number of Armstrong performances to fourteen. That’s not all, though. Verve Select’s CD edition now has all of the songs performed that summer evening of August 15, 1956, and the set list has been restored to its original running order. (The original LPs altered the sequencing due to the era’s time constraints for vinyl albums.)

Armstrong and his All Star Orchestra took their place beside a truly legendary group of musicians, and Jazz at the Hollywood Bowl offers six solo tracks from Fitzgerald, including takes on Cole Porter’s “Love for Sale” and “Just One of Those Things” plus Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart’s “Little Girl Blue” and the then-current showtune introduced by Sammy Davis, Jr. in Mr. Wonderful, “Too Close For Comfort.” Flip Phillips, Illinois Jacquet, Harry “Sweets” Edison and Roy Eldridge were backed by Buddy Rich and the Oscar Peterson Trio with Herb Ellis and Ray Brown on a once-in-a-lifetime jam session incorporating Fats Waller’s “Honeysuckle Rose,” Vernon Duke and Ira Gershwin’s “I Can’t Get Started” and Count Basie’s signature “Jumpin’ at the Woodside.” Piano jazz is well represented by Art Tatum’s four songs, among them the Gershwins’ “Someone To Watch Over Me” and Porter’s “Begin the Beguine,” and the Oscar Peterson’s Trio’s two-song set highlighted by Burton Lane and Ralph Freed’s “How About You?” (“I like New York in June/How about you? I like a Gershwin tune/How about you?”) The concert marked one of Tatum’s last appearances. The entire ensemble joins in for (what else?) “When The Saints Go Marching In,” the jubilant, rousing finale.

Jazz at the Hollywood Bowl is housed in a digipak reproducing the original artwork plus new photos, detailed annotations and an essay by historian Bob Porter. This 5,000-copy limited edition is available for pre-order now at Hip-o Select for $35.98 and will ship on July 29. It will be available from other retailers beginning August 16. After the jump, you’ll find the complete annotated track listing plus pre-order link at Amazon. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 19, 2011 at 10:01

Release Round-Up: Week of July 19

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Ramones, Ramones / Leave Home / Rocket to Russia Road to Ruin (Rhino)

180-gram vinyl reissues of the first four Ramones records! The first 500 to buy them from Rhino directly (as seen in this post) get replica 45s with each album, too. (Official site)

Andrew Wood, Malfunkshun: The Andrew Wood Story (Hip-o Select/A&M)

A late, underrated icon in the early days of grunge gets his due with this triple-disc set, featuring the acclaimed DVD documentary of his life and career (which gives the set its name) plus a remastered and expanded version of Malfunkshun’s first and only full LP with loads of extra bonus songs. (Hip-o Select)

REO Speedwagon, Hi Infidelity: 30th Anniversary Edition (Epic/Legacy)

A full chronicle of the band’s first brush with a softer pop/rock sound (“Keep On Loving You,” “Take It on the Run”), now expanded with a bonus disc of demos. (Official site)

The Beastie Boys, Video Anthology (Criterion)

A reissue of the feature-laded two-disc DVD set first released in 2000. (Official site)

Peter, Paul and Mary, 25th Anniversary Concert (Shout! Factory)

In honor of the band’s 50th anniversary, a blast from the past concert special making its DVD debut. (Amazon – currently an exclusive)

Various Artists, Star Trek: The Next Generation – Volume 1 (La-La Land Records)

Don’t forget, if you’re at San-Diego Comic Con this week (July 21-24), you can purchase this three-disc set of TNG music before it’s available to the general public in August! (La-La Land)

Cream, Rush, The Moody Blues, The Velvet Underground, et al., ICON (UMe)

Yup. (Original post with Amazon links)