Masterworks Jazz continues the celebration of the 40th anniversary of CTI Records, the beloved jazz label founded in 1970 by producer Creed Taylor with the release of 6 more classic reissues. They include: White Rabbit by George Benson, All Blues by Ron Carter (first time on CD in the U.S.), Prelude by Deodato, Pure Desmond by Paul Desmond, Concierto by Jim Hall, and Milt Jackson's Sunflower. The reissues are packaged in eco-friendly softpack sleeves that replicate the original gatefold LP design and their iconic covers most with photos by Pete Turner.
White Rabbit is perhaps George Benson's finest album for CTI, featuring the signature title track arrangement of the Jefferson Airplane classic – a 1972 Grammy® nominee for Best Jazz Performance by a Group.
All Blues by Ron Carter makes its debut on CD in the U.S. (it was previously only released in Japan). Carter was voted Bassist of the Year in DOWNBEAT's Readers' Poll in 1973, 1974 and 1975, highlighting his work with CTI.
Deodato's Prelude includes his Grammy®-winning hit title track, an arrangement of Richard Strauss's fanfare from Also Sprach Zarathustra, used as the main theme in 2001: A Space Odyssey. This song is the biggest hit the CTI label would ever have. The album's title track won 1974 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance, and rose to No. 2 on the U.S. pop charts.
Pure Desmond by Paul Desmond was not only highly praised but it also brought to the spotlight the considerable talents of Canadian guitarist Ed Bickert. It also features Ron Carter on bass and Connie Kay on drums. Paul Desmond was voted by DOWNBEAT's readers into its Jazz Hall of Fame in 1977.
For his work on Concierto, Jim Hall received a Grammy® nomination in 1975 for Best Jazz Performance by a Soloist. He was also named Guitarist of the Year in DOWNBEAT's Jazz Poll in 1974, the year before he recorded Concierto.
Sunflower is the most revered album by Milt Jackson, one of the greatest of jazz vibraphone players, and most acclaimed improvisational blues instrumentalists of all time. He was a founding member of the legendary Modern Jazz Quartet, voted by DOWNBEAT's readers into its Jazz Hall of Fame in 1999.
Sony MASTERWORKS Jazz kicked off the 40th anniversary celebration with the release of CTI Records: The Cool Revolution, a deluxe 4-CD multi-artist box set retrospective in the Fall. Receiving rave reviews The Associated Press dubbed it "…the most comprehensive anthology to date" and NPR said it was "… as striking a portrait of the Jazz World in the '70s as you'll find anywhere."
Also released in the Fall was the double-CD restoration of California Concert: The Hollywood Palladium (1971) which included 90-minutes of music rarely heard and never before available. It is the most complete version of the historic Hollywood Palladium all-star concert recorded July 18, 1971. It doubles the content of the original five-song LP release with five additional tracks - three of them previously unreleased - and restores the original concert sequence for the first time. Creed Taylor hand-picked a dream team of CTI artists for the occasion: Freddie Hubbard, Hubert Laws, Hank Crawford, Stanley Turrentine, George Benson, Johnny Hammond, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham and Airto Moreira. Liner notes are by multi-Grammy winning musician-producer Bob Belden who says California Concert: The Hollywood Palladium "...ranks up there with the greatest jazz concerts of all time…"