The long-awaited CD debut of work from the excellent and short-lived Beehive Records – a Chicago company started in the late 70s, to continue the best 60s spirit of Blue Note and Prestige – with a top-shelf roster that included artists like Curtis Fuller, Clifford Jordan, Dizzy Reece, and Johnny Hartman! At a time when most other labels had forgotten about straight, solid, acoustic jazz – Chicago collector Jim Neumann decided to start getting back to basics, and give some of his hardbop heroes a place to record – starting the Beehive label with his wife and just a shoestring budget, and pursing artists who weren't being recorded properly at the time! The result is an excellent run of records – all of which were only issued on vinyl in the late 70s and early 80s, and appear here on CD for the first time ever – in a wonderful package that adds in notes on every session, and traces the short, but wonderful run of Beehive. Like many small labels, Beehive's fame and success was hampered by reasons of distribution and cashflow – but that never kept their music from sounding as best as it possibly could – with plenty of room for the soloists to open up and do their thing, and no attempt at all to modernize or commercialize the recordings. The sessions sparkle like lost gems from overlooked sessions at Rudy Van Gelder's – and offer up a great picture of artists who were almost lost to the record racks at the times – and the 12CD set features the full albums: Baritone Madness by Nick Brigola (with Ted Curson and Pepper Adams); Burn Brigade by Nick Brigola (with Ronnie Cuber, Walter Davis Jr, and Cecil Payne); Neo Nistico by Sal Nistico (with Ted Curson, Ronnie Mathews, and Nick Brigola); Fire & Filigree by Curtis Fuller (with Sal Nistico and Walter Bishop Jr); Manhattan Project by Dizzy Reece (with Clifford Jordan and Charles Davis); Hyde Park After Dark by Clifford Jordan and Von Freeman; Dr Chicago by Clifford Jordan (with Jaki Byard and Red Rodney); Once In Every Life by Johnny Hartman; Starfingers by Sal Salvador (with Eddie Bert and Nick Brignola); Juicy Lucy
by Sal Salvador (with Billy Taylor); Roots Branches & Dances by Ronnie Mathews (with Frank Foster); Legacy by Ronnie Mathews (with Bill Hardman and Ricky Ford); New York Jazz Quartet In Chicago by Roland Hanna (with Frank Wess); In High Profile by Dick Katz (with Jimmy Knepper and Frank Wess); Truckin & Trackin by Junior Mance (with David Newman); and Keep On Pushin by Arnett Cobb (with Joe Newman, Al Grey, & Junior Mance).