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Billy Eckstine & His Orchestra: Together (CD: Spotlite)Billy Eckstine & His Orchestra: Together (CD: Spotlite)
Formed in 1944, Eckstine's band was a short-lived but star-studded affair which nurtured much young bebop talent. These live broadcasts from the Club Plantation in Los Angeles from early 1945 feature charts arranged by Tadd Dameron and an outfit including Fats Navarro, Gene Ammons, Leo Parker and Art Blakey. Lena Horne and Sarah Vaughan feature too. 


Price:  £8.99 


Billy Eckstine: Ballads, Blues & Bebop (CD: Proper)
Billy Eckstine's smooth baritone and distinctive vibrato broke down barriers throughout the 1940s, first as leader of the original bop big-band, then as the first romantic black male in popular music. An influence looming large in the cultural development of soul and R&B singers from Sam Cooke to Prince, Eckstine was able to play it straight on his pop hits "Prisoner of Love," "My Foolish Heart" and "I Apologize". Some of the greatest players of the bebop era passed through the ranks of his band, including Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. The pop and jazz sides of Eckstine's musical personality are both represented on this Proper Introduction, showing why he was such a key figure in the development of black music. (Proper Records) 


Price:  £6.99 

Billy Eckstine: Ballads, Blues & Bebop (CD: Proper)


Billy Eckstine: Four Classic Albums Plus (CD: AVID, 2 CDs)Billy Eckstine: Four Classic Albums Plus (CD: AVID, 2 CDs)
AVID Jazz presents four classic Billy Eckstine albums plus, including original LP liner notes on a finely re-mastered and low priced double CD."Sarah Vaughan and Billy Eckstine Sing the Best of Irving Berlin"; "Billy Eckstine & Quincy Jones at Basin Street East"; "Basie/Eckstine Incorporated" and "Once More With Feeling"; plus 7 tracks from "No Cover No Minimum"

Our first selection "Sarah Vaughan and Billy Eckstine Sing the Best of Irving Berlin" finds two great vocal masters taking on one of the great song writing masters. The results, not surprisingly, is "a vocal masterpiece". "Billy Eckstine & Quincy Jones at Basin Street East", well…."Mr B" meets Mr. Jones with original liner notes from the great Mr Ellington! Recorded live at Basin Street East, New York in 1961 musicians involved include the following…..Joe Newman, Curtis Fuller, Melba Liston, Phil Woods, Jerome Richardson, Art Davis and Stu Martin. "Basie/Eckstine Incorporated"….What is it about this man Eckstine, why is he always walking amongst giants? Surely it’s because he’s a giant himself in the jazz firmament, as the original liner notes confirm…. "a once in a lifetime recording which attests to the talents of two giants of jazz". Eckstine is here joined by Count Basie and a sparkling array of supporting players including….Thad Jones, Snooky Young, Joe Newman, Frank Wess, Freddie Green and George Duvivier with arrangements by amongst others Quincy Jones and Budd Johnson. "Once More With Feeling" our final selection could just as easily have been called "The Best of Mr B!" In the company of famed arranger and conductor Bill May, Mr B re-visits some of his classic songs now given "a modern dress, a new and fresh approach through the imaginative force of Mr May. You could say this album fits the Bill……….both of them!!

All four albums plus have been digitally re-mastered. (AVID Entertainment) 


Price:  £8.99 

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