Lee Ritenour, a superior studio guitarist, has recorded very few jazz albums throughout his career, preferring to play melodic pop and light funk. On the rare occasions when he has had an urge to perform jazz, Ritenour has been more than happy to show off the influence of Wes Montgomery; therefore, this tribute is a logical move, even if the results are not all that exciting. Ritenour mostly plays pieces from the later (and more commercial) half of Montgomery's career, along with four of his own originals that are sort of in the tradition. He also hedges his bet a little by throwing in a Bob Marley reggae tune.
Perhaps Szymanowski’s music is too cool and sophisticated ever to become popular. Even the third of his Op. 4 Studies, which Paderewski made famous, is less full-bodied than Scriabin’s early C sharp minor Étude, and while Scriabin believed in the madness of his later music, Szymanowski’s apparent abandon in his voluptuous period around the First World War is crafted with detachment. Dennis Lee clarifies the cascades of notes – or rather sonorities – in the two major sets, Métopes and Masques, so that these complex pieces are understood more easily than usual. The recorded sound is a bit thin and small, but clean.
Play One For Me, the label debut from New Orleans based blues guitarist/singer Bryan Lee, features Bryan’s powerfully soulful vocals and stinging guitar backed by the label’s studio house band of Kevin Anker (keyboards), Steve Gomes (bass), and Robb Stupka (drums), augmented by special guests Kim Wilson (harmonica) and Johnny Moeller (rhythm guitar) of The Fabulous Thunderbirds. The 10 tracks featured are a solid mix of five Bryan Lee originals and covers of such songs as Bobby Womack’s “When Love Begins (Friendship Ends),” Howlin’ Wolf’s “Evil Is Going On” (featuring Wilson), Freddie King’s “It’s Too Bad (Things Are Going So Tough),” Dennis Geyer’s “Straight to Your Heart,” and a beautiful rendition of the George Jackson classic, “Aretha (Sing One for Me).”
While writing and recording The Game, Queen were asked by renowned movie director Dino DeLaurentis to provide the soundtrack for his upcoming sci-fi epic Flash Gordon. The band accepted and promptly began working on both albums simultaneously. Although at first many fans criticized Flash Gordon since it was issued as an official Queen release rather than a motion picture soundtrack, it has proven to be one of rock's better motion picture soundtracks over the years.
This single CD anthology is chock-full of the mighty Dexter Gordon (tenor sax) as leader or as primary participant in seven selections showcasing his surprisingly wide array of interpretive skills within the blues. While the majority of the contents have been culled from Gordon's late-'60s and early-'70s Prestige output, the update of Jay McShann's "The Jumpin' Blues" as well as Gordon's own "Sticky Wicket" are both alternate takes that weren't available prior to the all-inclusive 11-disc Complete Prestige Recordings (2004) box set. The latter opens the compilation as the double-sax assault of Gordon and James Moody (tenor sax) is supported by Barry Harris (piano), Buster Williams (bass), and Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums)…