To Know Without Knowing, Mulatu Astatke & Black Jesus Experience’s album, is their second together. A grooving transcontinental gem, recorded in Melbourne, Australia, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Filled with the warmth of the mentorship and friendship of their creative partnership honed over a decade of performing together in Africa, Australia, and UK/Europe. Mulatu Astatke is the father of Ethio-jazz and one of Africa’s most influential and enduring musical figures. Black Jesus Experience is a community of artists, centered around a twelve-piece global-funk-machine born of Australia’s vibrant multiculturalism. Mulatu and Black Jesus Experience met in Addis Ababa in 2009, embarking on both a musical relationship and a friendship that has led Mulatu Astake to describe Black Jesus Experience as, “My favorite backing band” and, “…they’re family.” Mulatu’s great contribution to music has been to combine Jazz and funk grooves with Ethiopia’s distinctive pentatonic scales. His musical genius is the sensuality and sophistication with which Mulatu contrasts these minimalist scales with richly chromatic harmony. But Mulatu’s equally great contribution has been to share both his enduringly unique modernity and Ethiopia’s timelessly spiritual music with the world. Black Jesus Experience treasure the special relationship of generosity, mentorship and collaboration they have been privileged to share with this master musician. To Know Without Knowing is the product of this gift.
Double LP version. Gatefold sleeve; features two vinyl-only tracks from Jackie McLean & The Cosmic Brotherhood and Michael Carvin; includes download card. Subtitled: Esoteric, modal and progressive jazz from the SteepleChase label, 1974-84. Founded in 1972, SteepleChase Records is one of the most significant and prolific European jazz record labels. With a catalog running to well over 200 titles, the Copenhagen-based imprint has recorded and released music from some of the greatest names in jazz, including Dexter Gordon, Andrew Hill, Jackie McLean, Horace Parlan, Chet Baker, and Stan Getz. Starting out by recording visiting Americans when they performed at the legendary Café Montmartre, founder Nils Winther was encouraged to start the label by none other than the great Jackie McLean, who was the first artist to release a record on the new imprint. From there, Steeplechase rapidly grew into one of the foremost labels to document European jazz with all its distinctive originality and style. With a particular emphasis on recording front rank American artists who had chosen the expatriate life in Europe, Steeplechase was first in line to document the sounds of the greats as they developed in exile. Features extensive liner notes including a history of the label as well as notes on each of the individual tracks. Photos from the recording sessions and cover art from each of the LPs from which Jazzman Records’ selection has been taken is also included. With in-demand tracks from the likes of Billy Gault, Johnny Dyani, and Khan Jamal, and the unearthing of deep cuts from greats like Jackie McLean and Mary Lou Williams, Jazzman Records’ Spiritual Jazz Vol. 11: Steeplechase pays tribute to one of Europe’s most important jazz labels and furthers our exploration into the infinite realms of spiritual jazz. Also features Sam Jones, Rene McLean, Jim McNeely, Michael Carvin, and Ken McIntyre.
Mule Musiq present a reissue of Skymark’s Primeiras Impressões, originally released in 2013. It is really rare that Mule Musiq does not offer new music for fresh imaginations. In the label’s 15-year history, there only been a few reissues in the widely ramified discography: Lydia Lynch in 2006, Hans-Joachim Roedelius in 2013, Fumio Itabashi in 2018, and now with Skymark with his jazz album Primeiras Impressões. The Italian producer, composer, record collector, and Modern Sun Records label co-runner, that lists to the name Marc Friedli when he hands his tax report to the government, is no stranger to fans of modern Brazil, disco, fusion, house, Latin, jazz, funk, soul, and all other organically swinging music that grooves deep. Since 2007, he has released a string of albums and EPs on his own label as well as on imprints like Neroli, Mukatsuku Records, or Rush Hour, showing his impressive electric piano keyboard skills and unique style with an array of vintage synthesizers like ARP, Prophet, Moog, Roland, or Korg. On his privately pressed and strictly limited album, Primeiras Impressões, he delivered nine, gently jazzy tunes that process his experiences in the heat of Rio De Janeiro. They are intensely spiritual, they avoid ornamentation, and they bow before jazz history with a gentle respect, while adding an elegantly explorative and thrillingly uplifting freshness to the genre with deep discreet minimal funk and light-as-a-feather piano-melodies, as if the keyboard were a saxophone.
2020 repress. Johnny’s Disk record is an independent jazz label, run by the owner of jazz cafe Kaiunbashi No Johnny located in Rikuzentakata City in Iwate Prefecture, Japan. The legendary label released a string of albums of high-quality, but down-to-earth music, spanning from modern jazz, avant-garde jazz to left-field pop. Albums such as Farewell My Johnny / Left Alone (1980) and Aya’s Samba (1978) have reached cult status among fans as some of the best works to come out of the Japanese jazz scene. The Japanese jazz classic, Aya’s Samba, was a debut effort by bassist Eiji Nakayama, who played as part of Elvin Jones’ Jazz Machine and toured with Don Friedman. This album is an important release in the Johnny’s Disk catalog, not only because it is the first ever release, but also because the owner hearing the band play was the reason why the label came to be. Aya’s Samba is a mellow jazz samba in minor key that’s considered a Japanese jazz classic. Slow ballad “Yellow Living” is drenched in melancholy with emotive keys and sax notes.
When we first heard Medline doing cover versions of tracks from the La Plante Sauvage OST, we were blown away. We said something cheeky like: -this thing needs to be on vinyl.- Well wish it and will it enough and it will happen. Solstice is here, and it s a record chock full of covers of legendary original soundtrack, library and jazz funk music. Many of these records are tough or impossible to find, and Medline s concept of interpreting these killer cuts and getting them all together on one record is a rare find itself. This is definitely a record that you can go back to again and again. High quality, brilliant interpretations of these songs, most of which were sampled many times before, is not just a digger s delight, but something that needs to be in a collection. Every track was performed by Medline. He translated the compositions his way, into his world, and the end product is something we will be talking about for years
This is one of the best-selling jazz records ever. But among audiophiles, it may not be as well known as some of the other genre classics.
Jazz pianist, composer, bandleader, Grammy-nominee, and Kennedy Center legend Ahmad Jamal has for five decades been one of the most successful small-group leaders in jazz and one of the genre’s all-time great pianists. His artisty, talent and creative abilities have thrilled audiences and been broadly proclaimed by musician and music lover alike. At The Pershing: But Not For Me is Jamal’s dazzling fountain of creative splendor in full flow.
In 1956 Jamal’s new trio (with Israel Crosby on bass and Vernell Fournier on drums) began a residency at Chicago’s Pershing Hotel, and two years later the group recorded At The Pershing: But Not For Me, which spent 108 weeks among the Top Ten best selling albums. Recorded on Jan. 16, 1958 at the Pershing Lounge in the hotel, each set played that night was recorded for a total of 43 tracks, eight of which were selected by Jamal for the album.
Jamal, from Pittsburgh, was a child prodigy who started playing piano at age 3 and, as a teen, caught the ear of jazz great Art Tatum. Then, after moving to Chicago, in 1948, he was eventually discovered by visionary record producer John Hammond, the patrician entrepreneur who had brought Billie Holiday to prominence and later helped to bring Aretha Franklin and Bob Dylan to the attention of the wider world. Hammond gave Jamal his first shot at recording in 1951, but it was seven years later, when the pianist was signed to Chess Records, that his career truly skyrocketed.
At The Pershing: But Not For Me topped America’s jazz charts for months and established a 107-week residence in Billboard’s album charts.
“That album sold over one million copies and is still selling,” Jamal says. He attributes its success to the power of music. “”It’s contagious. Music belongs to the world. So something that is of value, whether it’s Ravel’s Boléro or, specifically, At The Pershing, the world listens. And if it’s good, you’re going to get one or two listeners… and I got a few more than two!”
The Analogue Productions reissue LP you hold has matchless listenability, employing steps calculated to extract the highest-quality transfer and playback from the original master tape. Mastering took place at Sterling Sound, while plating and 200-gram pressing is by our own Quality Record Pressings, where the best-sounding LPs with dead-quiet surfaces are produced. A Stoughton Printing old-style tip-on jacket completes the package.
The third Web Web album, Worshippers, is the richest and perhaps best Web Web album so far. It testifies to maturity and is the logical continuation of the two preceding albums. In a way, it is a concept album in Web Web’s journey through Afro- and spiritual jazz. Worshippers: The idolizers, the admirers. Web Web adores and bows to the greats of jazz and their spiritual music. Songs like “The Upper”, “Paranormal Question”, or the multi-part “Free A.M.” were created, all of which show more complex structures as well as sophisticated forms and arrangements than the two previous albums Oracle and Dance Of The Demons. Along with the search for new sounds and soundscapes arose the desire for an extended sound body, which goes beyond Web Web’s conventional repertoire: Besides, there was a musician, with whom the complex arrangements and the tight, mantric rhythms could be accomplished: the violinist and violist Stefan Pintev. The native Bulgarian, who previously played with legends like Ray Charles or Astrud Gilberto, could give the music an additional depth and a mystical color with his dark timbre on his violin. In pieces like “Mystic Flowers” or “Inner Revolution”, his entire sound spectrum is brilliantly revealed, as is his narrative and multi-layered playing. In the middle of the production process of this album, the idea to let the incredible voice of Joy Denalane (Freundeskreis, Common) flow into Web Web’s music was born. Since Joy Denalane and Roberto Di Gioia were working on their solo album simultaneously, Joy became amazed by the new Web Web sounds and ended up contributing to this album. On this album, Joy Denalane does not perform in the way we know from her song forms and structures. Instead she sings in a free, improvisational manner, uses her voice as an instrument, enters into a dialogue with Tony Lakato’s wondrous improvisations (as in “What You Give”), or experiments with alienating (and alienated) vocal tirades in “Free A.M. (Part 1)”, asserting her sensational art of improvisation — similar to the early Dee Dee Bridgewater. On the opening song “The Upper”, she impresses with her dark and soulful voice and indicates the way for the whole album from her very first line. Web Web are Roberto Di Gioia (piano, synth, percussion), Tony Lakatos (tenor and soprano saxophones, flute), Christian von Kaphengst (upright bass), and Peter Gall (drums).
Loneos present a reissue of Massimo Guantini’s Diapositive, originally released in 1977. Beside the telluric year in pop music and culture, 1977 was still ranked as the future for Italian leftfield composers. Published by roman imprint Gemelli and credited to the elusive Massimo Guantini (none else than influential jazz player and composer Sandro Brugnolini), Diapositive is a fully cinematic journey in the realm of sci-fi and cool jazz. Fully produced at famous Roman Emmequattro Studios (home of many fascinating recordings by piano player Enrico Pieranunzi), the album is deeply rooted in the coolness of Italian libraries, showing an incredible musicianship. Fully adorned by a vibrant rhythm section, an acoustic piano, a clavinet, a Fender Rhodes, and proper “acid jazz” guitar-playing, this album will lift your mind and soul for good. 180 gram vinyl; obi; edition of 400.
2020 repress. Soundway Records present the eponymous debut LP from in-demand Amsterdam five piece, The Mauskovic Dance Band — fusing no-wave dance punk, Afro-Caribbean rhythms, and space disco in a “controlled explosion” (The Quietus). Entirely self-produced, the band has reiterated their favorite elements of the ’70s and ’80s legacy of the Afro-Latin psychedelic music of Colombia and Peru, interpreting it through the context of modern-day Amsterdam. The output is a lo-fi no wave groove all its own — rooted in a deep love of champeta, Palenque, psychedelic cumbia, chichi, classic Afrobeat, and picó soundsystem culture. Since the release of their Down In The Basement EP EP on Soundway Records in early 2018, the band have found themselves on a hectic European touring schedule — not to mention being involved in other side projects. Following stints with Turkish psychedelic folk rock group Altin Gün, and touring with the re-formed ’70s Zamrock outfit W.I.T.C.H., Nic Mauskovic also teamed up with Dutch neo-psychedelic artist Jacco Gardner to form the “cinematic Balearic disco” duo of Bruxas (released by Dutch institution Dekmantel) — and together, they mixed The Mauskovic Dance Band debut album in Lisbon. Lead single “Space Drum Machine” encapsulates the band’s prototypical brand of busy rhythmic patterns interwoven with insistent synth stabs and vibrant disco toms, layered with an elastic guitar riff drawing inspiration from Kenyan kikuyu and benga styles. High-pitched vocals describe being on a flight together and inciting each other to press a button of unknown consequence with “push it, push it” — and push it they do, at breakneck pace. And of course, the undeniable influence of Amsterdam’s hotbed of underground dance producers shines through as it does on all tracks – with the vintage psychedelic swirl of synthesizer, lo-fi drum machines, and tape recording. RIYL: Jacco Gardner, Bruxas, Nu Guinea, Voilaaa, Sofrito, Meridian Brothers, EUT, Altin Gün.
Wilkes is the debut full-length release on Leaving Records by experimental / jazz bassist, instrumentalist, and producer Sam Wilkes. Sam Wilkes’ epic emotional debut is a work of genre fusion, made in collaboration with members of the Los Angeles musical community. Mentored by Patrice Rushen, Leon “Ndugu” Chancler; has worked with collaborators including Louis Cole, Sam Gendel, and even Chaka Khan. For fans of: John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Kamasi Washington, Nubya Garcia, Yussef Kamaal and Kiefer.
4 years later than “Volume 1”, and two years after “Volume 2”, here is the final and last in the series “Esterno Notte Vol. 3”. The trip continues through the unexplored lands of the Italian cinematic groove, unearthing new pearls buried for too long. While the previous chapters consisted of lost jazz-funk materials, mostly recovered from the mythical Italian RCA archive, this time this new volume concerns more in frightening and amazing tunes, used for horror, thriller, erotic and violent-pop movies.
The result is a deep journey into the secret history of the second half of the 70’s Italian soundtracks, focusing on sounds that were designed for cityscape chases, high-tension scenes, erotic nights, haunting and dream-like sequences.
A collection of stunning jazz-funk, cinematic prog and urban disco, unveiling rare or unreleased tracks composed by some of the hip names of the Italian Scene: Alessandro Alessandroni, Pippo Caruso (performed by Goblin), Stelvio Cipriani, Guido & Maurizio De Angelis, Bixio-Frizzi-Tempera, Gianni Oddi, Carlo Savina, Alessandro Blonksteiner, Franco Godi, Sergio Chiti & Gian Paolo Montori.
Love Spectrum is the debut album from Whoarei – released on Nosaj Thing’s Timetable Records imprint, these are 14 incandescent canvases produced in Whoarei’s bedroom between the years 2013 to 2017.
It includes the official release of “Loving You Ain’t Complicated,” the main sample from Kendrick Lamar’s “u” on To Pimp A Butterfly. Synthesized in full, the album is akin to Dam Funk collaborating to make fluorescent sub-tropical heaters with Kaytranada or Toro y Moi creating music from memory based on the legacy of Vito Ricci.
But of course, this is the uncut vision of Whoarei, a composer, musician and Grammy-Award winning producer from Sacramento, CA. You can hear the ancestral rhythms of his Salvadorian and Puerto Rican roots in the soulful fusion of the soundscapes. Salsa plays an elemental role in these compositions. Much of Whoarei’s childhood was spent in Puerto Rico, where he absorbed this classical blend of jazz and African rhythms. On Love Spectrum, you can hear this in the technicolor mélange; these are compositions that celebrate and clearly understand the artist’s heritage. Each recording is crammed with lapidary detail, the imperfections retained to add to the swelling humanity.
Reissue of the the fifth Massaker album from 1995, it’s actually a recent studio recording of 5 songs from the band’s first 2 albums (The Tribe & Black Axis); live, no overdubs, and of course, very heavy.
The project was formed in early 2016, leading to their debut album later that year Wisdom of Elders; a document of sessions combining Hutchings with a group of South African jazz musicians he’d long admired. His connection to the group was Mandla Mlangeni (bandleader of the Amandla Freedom Ensemble), whom he’d flown there to play with over the past few years.
We Are Sent Here by History is a meditation on the fact of our coming extinction as a species. It is a reflection from the ruins, from the burning. A questioning of the steps to be taken in preparation for our transition individually and societally if the end is to be seen as anything but a tragic defeat. For those lives lost and cultures dismantled by centuries of western expansionism, capitalist thought and white supremist structural hegemony the end days have long been heralded as present with this world experienced as an embodiment of a living purgatory.
BBE Music announces the first repress of the classic Roy Ayers albums ‘Virgin Ubiquity’ 1 and 2 since 2006, on luxurious 180g vinyl with brand new sleeve notes written by Sean P. The music on ‘Virgin Ubiquity’ was selected and mixed down from previously unreleased multi-tracks recorded between 1976 & 1981, which Roy had in storage. It’s all unmistakably Ayers, but is diverse and fresh enough to be more than a mere adjunct to one of his most productive and popular periods – testament to his and his musicians’ creative abilities, as much of most revered Ayers output stems from this time. These discoveries take their place beside some illustrious company in a timeline bookended by ‘Everybody Loves The Sunshine’ and ‘Africa, Center Of The World’, several solo and Ubiquity albums, collaborations with Wayne Henderson & Fela Kuti, as well as guesting on LPs by Buster Williams and Herbie Mann. Out of print on vinyl and CD for over a decade now, BBE is delighted to re- present these groundbreaking Roy Ayers titles, neatly coinciding with the 45th anniversary of his classic album ‘Mystic Voyage’ and a UK tour to commemorate it during April 2020.
BBE Music announces the first repress of the classic Roy Ayers albums ‘Virgin Ubiquity’ 1 and 2 since 2006, on luxurious 180g vinyl with brand new sleeve notes written by Sean P. The music on ‘Virgin Ubiquity’ was selected and mixed down from previously unreleased multi-tracks recorded between 1976 & 1981, which Roy had in storage. It’s all unmistakably Ayers, but is diverse and fresh enough to be more than a mere adjunct to one of his most productive and popular periods – testament to his and his musicians’ creative abilities, as much of most revered Ayers output stems from this time. These discoveries take their place beside some illustrious company in a timeline bookended by ‘Everybody Loves The Sunshine’ and ‘Africa, Center Of The World’, several solo and Ubiquity albums, collaborations with Wayne Henderson & Fela Kuti, as well as guesting on LPs by Buster Williams and Herbie Mann.
Fodder On My Wings, the 1982 album from legendary singer, songwriter and activist Nina Simone, is available now on Verve/UMe. A personal favourite of Simone’s, and a long-sought-after rarity, this expanded edition of Fodder On My Wings can be found on CD and vinyl and, for the very first time, in both standard and hi-res audio formats. Also premiering today is an uplifting animated video for the song, ‘Color Is A Beautiful Thing’.
Recorded for a small French label soon after Simone relocated to Paris, Fodder On My Wings found the artist in a difficult period in her life. Not only was Simone feeling isolated in a new country, but her mental illness was worsening and her family life was fractured. However, she channelled her despair into writing some of her most powerful material, including ‘I Was Just A Stupid Dog To Them’ and the near-title-track, ‘Fodder In Her Wings’, which Pitchfork included in their roundup of Simone’s most iconic songs.
The publication proclaimed that the original version of the composition, which Simone would revisit several years later, “Captured with startling intimacy the pain of this period”. Pitchfork added that, “Simone’s vocal makes a song of weariness and defeat carry an air of defiance, a wise word from someone who survived to tell the tale”.
Another standout track is the triumphant ‘I Sing Just To Know That I’m Alive’, which became a popular live song for the artist later in her career. Full of upbeat percussion and horns, the song was clearly influenced by the African musicians that Simone had met in France.
Three bonus tracks are also available on this expanded edition of Fodder On My Wings, all culled from the original recording sessions. These include ‘They Took My Hand’, ‘Stop’, and Simone’s searing lyrical improvisation about the death of her father on a remake of Gilbert O’Sullivan’s ‘Alone Again (Naturally)’.
When “The Jazztet” broke up, a sextet that he co-founded together with the tenor saxophonist Benny Golson, the flugelhornist Art Farmer became the leader of a pianoless quartet with the guitarist Jim Hall from 1963-1964. Farmer said in an interview that the quartet didn’t need a pianist because Hall could provide all the necessary chords and counterpoints. Actually a multi-instrumentalist, Farmer gave up playing the trumpet and performed in this quartet exclusively on the flugelhorn.
Together with the bassist Steve Swallow and the drummer Walter Perkins he appeared in New York’s “Half Note” jazz club, which became their base and location of their best recordings. The repertoire in this session from December 1963 is something of a surprise – five standard swing numbers plus the little-known “Swing Spring” by Miles Davis. Hall, who made a special appearance with “I’m Getting’ Sentimental Over You”, was the ideal musical partner for Farmer, since both musicians were in command of a similar gentle and pensive style of improvisation, which was more complex than one expected. From the 22 tracks recorded, only these five have survived. The others were destroyed in a fire. Furthermore, the group only remained together long enough to make three LP releases. All this goes to make this album even more important, and at long last available in an appropriate format.
When you listen to Terry Callier’s music, it really makes you wonder why it took three decades after the release of his debut album for this singer to be able to live from his music. “Turn You To Love”, »easily Terry Callier’s most underrated album« (allmusic.com), may in the first moment be somewhat astonishing for its rather disparate mix of numbers. Unlike the works by other soul mates, Callier’s songs demonstrate not how soul should be but rather what soul can be. His musical language does away with angry attitudes, and cultivates instead deep and sincerely felt sentiment. This is expressed not only in sprightly funk (“Sign Of The Times”) but also in moderately paced and soulful songs such as “Pyramids Of Love”. His vocal prowess is shown in a wide variation of numbers – from well rounded to smoky, gauze-like phrases (“Turn You To Love”), via a rhythmically freely swinging number with a lengthy text (“Ordinary Joe”), and a narrative, meditative atmosphere (“Occasional Rain”). In between we find a fine mix of diverse voices (“You And Me”) and a drop of the cultivated, indestructible groovy sound of the times (“Still Water”).
Nina Simone was an exceptional artist. She was gifted with a precocious talent and she played music at home and in church. Nina originally counted on becoming the first black female classical pianist ; her plans were thwarted and that frustration no doubt permeated almost her entire career. Yet she became a diva capable of combining the jazz world with those of the classics and soul, and among other titles she recorded are some of the most vibrant and moving performances of Wild is the Wind or You Can Have Him, I don’t Want Him.
She was one of the greatest artists of her time, and her fervour and rigorous demands concerning the quality of her music took her to the highest summits, whether in her compositions or in her vocal and piano performances. For all that, she never forgot her condition as a black woman in the America of the Sixties, and her active commitment to defending the rights of the black minority was exemplary – and at times even excessive, for which she was often reproached.
She has left us some of the most beautiful chapters in jazz and soul music, among them the 23 titles that appear in this album.
“Live In Europe Vol.1” is the second Altsax production. These live recordings capture a series of the artist and his quartet’s performances throughout Europe in 1975. These gigs reflect Howard’s peculiar musical identity on the Free Jazz scene of that era. An uncanny and heavy atmosphere unifies the different compositions which are constructed with improvisations on disturbing repetitions.
Top musicians such as Yasuaki Shimizu, Pecker, Shuichi Murakami, Tetsuo Sakurai, Rei Ohara, Kenji Omura, Hirokuni Ozekata support a wide variety of songs from Jazz-Funk / Fusion to techno pop. One piece that is highly evaluated from overseas and is rare in the used market. In the cover of the super famous song “Konukaame” written by Ginji Ito and Tatsuro Yamashita, Mariya Takeuchi and EPO participated as back vocals. In addition, Latin Flavor’s Organ Fusion title song “Corner Top” and the cosmic funk “Silver Spot” with EPO vocals are exactly the Japanese sounds that are sought “now”.
Whenever Milt Jackson could free himself from the ‘bondage’ of the Modern Jazz Quartet and its assertive leader John Lewis, he dedicated himself to his two great passions: ballads and the blues. That was precisely the case when he entered the famous Rudy van Gelder Studio in Hackensack, New Jersey, USA in 1956. He was free to choose his sidemen, and money was no object, which is why various formations gathered in the studio for the three recording sessions. With Lucky Thompson on the tenor sax (unfortunately for only three numbers), Barry Galbraith, Barney Kessel or Skeeter Best on the guitar, Oscar Pettiford or Percy Heath on the bass, together with Kenny Clarke or Lawrence Marable on the drums, he set off on a journey through the history of jazz. John Lewis stayed unobtrusively in the background and offered ‘Bags’ (as Milt was known) plenty of opportunities to glory in soloistic freedom.
The themes were soon found: the musical composers Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and Jerome Kern, as well as a work from The Duke Ellington Songbook, formed a basis upon which all the musicians could perform with confidence. Three compositions by Milt Jackson himself proved that he too was full of imagination.
If you don’t possess this LP – or maybe none by Milt Jackson – here is an opportunity to remedy this shortcoming. The present author would award this recording 5 out of 5 possible stars!
Recorded in October 1961, A Fickle Sonance is a quintessential hard bop outing by Jackie McLean that also offered just a hint of the avant-garde explorations the alto saxophonist was about to embark on in the years to come with the dissonances of the title track’s intro. Otherwise the fantastic quintet—with McLean joined by Tommy Turrentine on trumpet, Sonny Clark on piano, Butch Warren on piano, and Billy Higgins on drums—kept it firmly in the pocket on this sterling set that kicks off with the playful “Five Will Get You Ten” (which legend has it Clark found in Thelonious Monk’s apartment). Reid Miles’ dramatic cropping of Francis Wolff’s photo of McLean on the cover makes the album cover utterly unforgettable.
This Blue Note 80 Vinyl Edition is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.
On September 17, 1962, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Max Roach gathered at Sound Makers studio in NYC and recorded Money Jungle, one of the most celebrated jazz trio albums of all time. Generational and stylistic differences between the three masters led to fearless music-making of the highest order. The album was originally released on United Artists and featured 7 of Ellington’s indelible compositions including “Caravan,” “Solitude,” and a stunning version of “Le Fleurs Africaines (African Flower).” By going back to the original analog stereo master the Tone Poet Edition presents this classic album with superior sound quality.
After his 2016 return to Blue Note where he first made a name for himself with a run of classic soul jazz albums between 1968-70, Hammond B-3 organ legend Dr. Lonnie Smith recorded All In My Mind during his 75th birthday celebration in July 2017 at the Jazz Standard in New York City with guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg and drummer Jonathan Blake. The album gets its first-time vinyl release with this 5-song Tone Poet Edition which features spirited interpretations of songs by Wayne Shorter (“Juju”), Freddie Hubbard (“Up Jumped Spring”) Paul Simon (“50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”), and more.
Listening to Lee Morgan blow his molten solo on “A Night In Tunisia,” the opening track of The Cooker, it’s hard to fathom that he was only 19 years old at the time. Recorded just 2 weeks after Morgan’s dazzling performance on John Coltrane’s masterpiece Blue Train in September 1957, The Cooker was in fact Morgan’s 5th Blue Note album as a leader. Bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Joe Jones (both of whom also played on Blue Train) are joined by baritone saxophone master Pepper Adams and the great Bobby Timmons on piano on this superbly swinging session.
Composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, singer, bandleader and DJ Emma-Jean Thackray is proud to announce her new EP ‘Rain Dance’, released via her brand new label ‘Movementt’.
The announcement comes with the release of the first single from the EP, the breathtaking ‘Rain Dance / Wisdom’, which sees Emma and her band switch transition between different moods and tempos before building to a blistering conclusion that blurs the lines between jazz and psychedelia.
On the track Emma says, “I reimagined the first half of the track from another beat (Rain Dance from the Ley Lines EP) and it’s completely live with my band. The track holds moments for each musician to shine and say something, and always goes down well live because it shows how well we improvise together. We always bring lots of energy, brave moments of stillness, and telepathic communication / awareness from being such a strong unit as a band.”
Just 2 days after saxophonist Dexter Gordon recorded his classic album GO! in August 1962 he brought the same quartet with pianist Sonny Clark, bassist Butch Warren, and drummer Billy Higgins back into Rudy Van Gelder’s studio to record the equally sublime A Swingin’ Affair. All the joy and beauty of the great tenor man’s music can be found in the irrepressible opener “Soy Califa,” a Gordon original that moves deftly between Latin and swing rhythms as Dex holds forth with his commanding horn. The feeling of the music is reflected perfectly in Reid Miles’ masterful cover design featuring Francis Wolff’s incredible photo.
This Blue Note 80 Vinyl Edition is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.
Recorded and released in 1969, Herbie Hancock’s last Blue Note album The Prisoner is a powerful but overlooked masterpiece. A moving tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, this nonet session features some of the most exceptional instrumentalists in jazz including Joe Henderson, Johnny Coles, Hubert Laws, Garnett Brown, Buster Williams, and Albert “Tootie” Heath. Hancock said of The Prisoner: “I’ve been able to get closer to the real me with this album than on any other previous one.”
The debut full-length album from the Los Angeles duo Sam Gendel and Sam Wilkes. Gendel plays Alto Saxofone and electronics, while Wilkes plays Bass Guitar and electronics. Pitchfork Media says “The discombobulating lines are sonically wild but technically well-mannered and seem – to go in multiple directions without losing sight of each other.”
BBE Music presents the sixth release in its acclaimed J Jazz Masterclass Series: ‘Stop Over’ by Hideto Sasaki – Toshiyuki Sekine Quartet +1.
Released at the height of the electric fusion era, ‘Stop Over’ is an all-acoustic hard bop killer, sounding like the Jazz Messengers on speed. When it was originally issued on the private Smile label in 1976, only 100 copies were pressed, making ‘Stop Over’ one of the most sought after and rare LPs in the J Jazz canon.
Trumpeter Hideto Sasaki tears it up as if he’s Kenny Dorham on a classic late 50s Blue Note session. He also provides the breakneck title track to the album, the one stunning original that sits next to solid covers including Bobby Hutcherson’s modal classic ‘Little B’s Poem’ and Denny Zeitlin’s ‘Carole’s Garden’. Pianist Toshiyuki Sekine is also on top form with his deft touch and fluid keyboard runs, playing Horace Silver to Sasaki’s Dorham. If you dig that late 50s/early 60s breathless hard bop sound, you’ll love this.
Licensed and released with the approval of Toshiyuki Sekine himself, ‘Stop Over’ will be available for download and streaming, as a CD and double vinyl LP, the first vinyl reissue of this amazing album since originally slipping out to family and friends in 1976. With a deluxe packaging and translated sleeve notes, there will also be new notes and an interview with Toshiyuki Sekine.
The BBE J Jazz Masterclass Series is personally curated by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden and is dedicated to presenting the very finest in Japanese modern jazz. The series features rare material presented in the highest quality reproductions of the original releases, fully licensed and authorised.
First ever reissue for one of the rarest and most sought after releases in the Japanese Jazz canon. USA press conducted by Scorepress.
My Garden is the Stones Throw debut of pianist, producer and composer John Carroll Kirby. An album written, recorded and produced entirely by Kirby, My Garden is a pure distillation of his sound — soulful, spiritual, and evocative. Demonstrating perfectly why Kirby is the go-to collaborator for artists ranging from experimental auteurs Bat for Lashes and Connan Mockasin to pop megastars Harry Styles and Kali Uchis, and R&B innovators Solange and Frank Ocean, My Garden is also a testament to the clarity and singularity of Kirby’s vision.
Wendell Harrison was born in Detroit in 1942 where he began formal jazz studies for piano, clarinet and tenor saxophone. At 14, while still in high school, Harrison started performing & recording professionally with artists such as Marvin Gaye, Grant Green, Sun Ra, Hank Crawford … and many others.
In 1971, Harrison began teaching music at Metro Arts (a multi-arts complex for youth) where he also connected with Marcus Belgrave, Harold McKinney and Phil Ranelin…soon after they formed the (now legendary) Afro-centric TRIBE record label and artist collective. TRIBE used the Metro Arts complex as a vehicle to convey a growing black political consciousness. Wendell Harrison also published the very popular TRIBE magazine, a publication dedicated to local and national social and political issues, as well as featuring artistic contributions such as poetry and visual pieces.
In 1978 Harrison and McKinney co-founded REBIRTH, a non-profit jazz performance and education organization, in which many notable jazz artists have participated. Around the same time Wendell Harrison also created the WENHA record label and publishing company, which released many of his (now classic) recordings as well as those of other artists, such as Phil Ranelin, Doug Hammond and Reggie Fields (The Real ShooBeeDoo).
In the early 1990s, Wendell Harrison was awarded the title of “Jazz Master” by Arts Midwest. This distinction led Harrison to collaborate with fellow honorees and gave him the chance to tour throughout the United States, Middle East and Africa. Even to this day Wendell Harrison’s recordings for the TRIBE, WENHA and REBIRTH labels have a large worldwide fanbase.
It is on WENHA that Harrison released the opus: DREAMS OF A LOVE SUPREME (1980), which we are presenting you today.
DREAMS OF A LOVE SUPREME is a monster album that features an all-star line-up that includes Phil Ranelin (Freddie Hubbard, Solomon Burke, Mulatu Astakte) on trombone, Harold McKinney (Tribe) on Keyboards and Roy Brooks (Yusef Lateef, Chet Baker, Mingus) on percussion. Although you can hear the 80ies creeping in with a smoother sound, more synths, and disco/R&B vocals… this remains a very spiritual (and soulful) jazz record. The record’s an irresistible blend of soul jazz combined with funky electric instrumentation…a groovy sound which is very much of its time, yet overtly timeless and as relevant today as it was back when it was initially released.
Tidal Waves Music now proudly presents the first ever vinyl reissue of ‘Dreams of A Love Supreme’ since its release in 1980. This official reissue is now available as a deluxe 180g BLACK vinyl edition (limited to 500 copies) and comes with an unreleased bonus track. This release is also available as a color vinyl version (limited to 100 copies 180g CLEAR vinyl exclusively available from LITA).
Song Cycle present the first reissue of Wounds by David Toop and Paul Burwell. Originally released in 1980 on Toop’s Quartz! label, the album is representative of a seminal moment within the British music scene evolved around the London Musicians Collective in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Founded in 1976 by a group of improvising musicians and sound artists including Evan Parker, Peter Cusack, Lol Coxhill, Sylvia Hallet, Max Eastley, the LMC contributed to shape a new generation of free improvisers with broader interests ranging from the music of John Stevens, Evan Parker, and Cornelius Cardew, to non-western music experiences. David Toop and Paul Burwell came to know each other precisely in these crucial moments, to start a long-lasting collaboration on two separate but intertwined projects a trio with the artist and poet Bob Cobbing, and an improvisation duo. As result of the latter, the nine tracks included in Wounds are edited from a single performance at the LMC, date 30.6.1979. Recorded by Max Eastley and Russ Wood, these shows saw the employment of different musical instruments as well an odd number of found objects placed in front of the artists, on the floor, ready to be picked up and played. Electric guitar, flute, cassette, water, rubbish, explosives, six strings harp, bamboo fiddle, whistle were only a few of the wider arrange of instruments at the disposal of the two. The result is an ambivalent album, suspended between the unfolding of the time of performance, and the circularity of the ritual. And if the collage of texts appearing on the artwork demonstrates a certain disapproval and skepticism toward the progress of society, Wounds seems also suggesting a possible cure. The improvised music, the use of non-canonical instruments, the presence of pre-recorded sounds coming, seems indeed to be an open invitation to the listeners to abandon the old conventions and to search for a new system of relationships.
Available again for the first time since original release in 1974, Outernational Sounds presents one of the deepest custom press jazz recordings of all: Jaman’s spiritualized and funky Sweet Heritage. The history of jazz is often told as though it was principally a history of releases and recordings. On those terms, it’s easy to mistake a small recorded footprint for obscurity or silence. The true history of the jazz is the story of the music as it was played night after night in the clubs, bars, concert halls, and backrooms of cities and towns across America and the world. Only a tiny fraction of this living tradition ever makes it onto a recording. And even though 1974’s Sweet Heritage is James Edward Manuel’s only release, the pianist and educator better known as Jaman has undoubtedly lived it. Brought up in Buffalo, New York, Jaman studied classical piano before beginning formal jazz studies under greats including Earl Bostic and Horace Parlan. Quickly becoming a respected regular on the club scene in Buffalo, Jaman held down innumerable residencies and worked with top local musicians — one of his early trios included the renowned bassist John Heard and drummer Clarence Becton, both of whom were poached one night by a visiting Jon Hendricks; sometime Sun Ra Arkestra bassist, Juini Booth, and regular Ahmad Jamal sideman, Sabu Adeyola (also of Kamal & The Brothers), have graced his groups too. At famous night spots all over Buffalo’s East Side and on excursions to Manhattan’s storied jazz clubs, Jaman has shared the stage with some of the most illustrious names in jazz and blues: Big Joe Turner, Muddy Waters, Joe Henderson, Ruth Brown, Frank Morgan, Woody Shaw, Sonny Stitt, and many others. His eponymous group, Jaman, was formed in 1970; they toured the US and Canada steadily. He became one of Buffalo’s true jazz stalwarts, and so he remains. But despite a life lived deep within the music, Jaman only recorded a single LP, 1974’s Sweet Heritage. Pressed in tiny quantities by the Mark Records custom service, Sweet Heritage featured the regular Jaman group playing a mixture of covers and originals. The whole LP showcases an ensemble in complete control, and with the flying, spiritual sound of “Free Will” and the Latin-tinged “In The Fall of The Year” — both Jaman originals — the album has since become a legendary collector’s classic. 180 gram vinyl.
Original score by Krzysztof Penderecki. New reading and conduction by Mats Gustafsson. The first (and until now only?) recorded interpretation of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Actions For Free Jazz Orchestra took place in 1971 at Donaueschingen and featured the New Eternal Rhythm Orchestra, assembled by Don Cherry for the occasion and conducted by the great Polish composer. That orchestra also consisted of 14 musicians, including international jazz heavyweights such as Kenny Wheeler, Peter Brötzmann, Thomasz Stanko, Terje Rypdal, Han Bennink, and others. Don Cherry himself did not perform. Penderecki had heard the Globe Unity Orchestra a couple of years earlier and was fascinated by the possibilities of working with musicians from a different background and with other perspectives than he was used to from the classical world. The challenge for all involved was to find the right balance between composition and improvisation. The idea was initially met with some skepticism from the musicians, but this soon gave way to acceptance and even eagerness. The new, extended reading by Mats Gustafsson and Fire! Orchestra was commissioned by the Sacrum Profanum festival in Kraków, Poland in 2018. The idea was to place this classic piece in a contemporary setting, with a new approach and a new body of sound. However, the original score was used as a platform for the new reading, connecting history with the present. A score in this context is most often of a graphic nature to present reference points, visualized on the sleeve by Kim Hiorthøy’s cut-up adaption of Mats Gustafsson’s score. It’s also worth noticing that the instrumentation is more or less identical to that of 1971, the main difference being a tuba replacing one of the trombones. Finally, this new reading clocks in at 40 minutes, and is thus considerably longer than the 1971 version. This line-up of the Fire! Orchestra is unique in that it’s the first time without founding members and singers Mariam Wallentin and Sofia Jernberg. It’s also the first time with guitarist Reine Fiske.
‘Girl And Robot With Flowers’ is a thematic journey into the emotive and enthralling realms of cinematic jazz, seductive ambience and majestic drama. Greg Foat uses everything from brass bands and kettle drums to Moog synthesizer and harmonium to take the listener above and beyond the stratosphere of senses.
Arsivplak present a reissue of Matao with Atilla Engin’s Turkish Delight, originally released in 1979. It’s a Turkish jazz-funk delight! Some hard-hitting rhythm section blending into a prime example of the swingin’ sound of the cool influences of jazz, funk, and folk music, with a Turkish flavor. Its fantastic funk jazz groove built on a titanium synth bassline! An instrumental library of traditional Turkish jazz session reaching a great climax in drums and percussion sets, plus electro-bass breaks with Moog and synthesizers from the beginning to the end. Traditional Turkish songs based on drums and synth bass over moody 5/8 fuzz guitars… Album recorded and released in Denmark, 1979, and it has never been released in Turkey. Hard cardboard sleeve; obi.
Repressed; LP version. Obi; includes four-page insert. Wewantsounds present the first official release outside of Japan for The Mystery Kindaichi Band’s The Adventures of Kindaichi Kosuke, originally released in 1977. The “imaginary” soundtrack to the cult detective book series by writer Seishi Yokomizo is on many DJ want-lists. Arranged by soundtrack master Kentaro Haneda and featuring a mysterious group of the best ’70s Japanese Funk musicians, the album is pure undiluted disco funk. Writer Seishi Yokomizo is an institution in Japan. He could be compared to Agatha Christie with his series of novels based on the adventures of detective Kosuke Kindaichi. The fictional character was born in 1946 with Yokomizo’s first novel in the series and solved mysteries until the late ’70s under Yokomizo’s pen before the death of the writer in 1981. Yokomizo’s novels have been a prime source for film and TV scenarios, so when, in 1977, Japanese label King Records decided to record a concept album based on the Kindaichi novels, it made complete sense. The writer was slightly surprised though. The concept album was arranged by pianist Kentaro Haneda, a key TV and film composer who has worked on many anime films and is also famous outside of Japan for composing the music for the video game Wizardry. For the album, he assembled a supergroup of some of the best Tokyo funk and city pop musicians. The long list includes jazz pianist Hideo Ichikawa who played on the 1971 Joe Henderson In Japan album, drummer Jun Moriya, who is on Joe Hisaichi’s cult Wonder City Orchestra album (1982), percussionist Tadaomi Anai who played with disco singer Eri Ohno, trumpeter Koji Hadori who’s featured on Haruomi Hosono’s Pacific album (1978). Also present on the album are saxophonist Takeru Muraoka who plays on many Tatsuro Yamashita cult albums including For You (1982) and Spacy (1977), Kimiko Yamauchi (koto) who’s on Akiko Yano’s landmark 1976 album Japanese Girl (WWSCD 017CD/WWSLP 017LP), and last but not least, French hornist Koji Yamaguchi who plays on Yazuaki Shimizu’s Kakashi (1982). Together they lay the funk on ten instrumentals filled with pure disco and funk breakbeats, making the album one of the highly-coveted Japanese LPs on international cratedigger scene. Remastered from the original tapes. Faithfully reproduced original artwork; Artwork by renowned illustrator Ichibun Sugimoto. New introduction by Anton Spice.
Dark Matter is a landmark record, a producer album by a young auteur, threading several thrilling musical traditions into a bold new tapestry: the raw energy of grime and afrobeats and the rolling club rhythms of the London underground, combined with the freewheeling creativity and collaborative spirit of his jazz training. With that mentality in mind, it’s no surprise that his talents have trickled over into fashion, producing original compositions for the Louis Vuitton Foundation x MoMa Archive film (2017) and most recently scoring the Men’s Dunhill Paris Fashion shows in both 2018 and 2019
A double MOBO and Jazz FM Award winner, Boyd’s live and studio collaborations have been as varied as they have been prolific, from touring with Sampha and Kelsey Lu, to drumming on Sons of Kemet’s Mercury-nominated album, to his recent collaboration with South African Gqom king DJ Lag, which made its way onto Beyonce’s official soundtrack for The Lion King. He produced Zara McFarlane ‘s 2017 full-length, Arise, in its entirety, for Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label, and released several acclaimed solo projects though his Exodus record label. Boyd has produced original scores for major Paris fashion shows, and with saxophonist Binker Golding, he’s co-leader and co-producer of the ferocious semi-free group Binker and Moses.
Max Graef and Julius Conrad are Ratgrave. ‘Rock’ is their second LP ~ ongoing transmissions of Electronic P-Fusion from Earth. It follows a stellar debut on Funkineven’s imprint Apron. The duo’s sound pallette draws inspiration from 80’s funk, soul, rock and electronic but through a contemporary lens from two versatile multi-instrumentalists. In their own words: “Rock is the essence of energy and vibration we felt in different styles of music, almost like a parallel component connecting all things we like. In the process of recording the new album we kept coming back to this essence no matter what style the original idea was. There was the raw and brutal energy of Jazz-Rock, a lot of video game influences that somehow adhered this essence just as well as quieter Pop and Psychedelic passages that we recorded. Among other things we absorbed a lot of heavy music during the time of the recording like Blue Cheer, Black Sabbath, Frank Zappa or Jimi Hendrix and realized while writing our own music how much impact they had even on quieter songs. This is why “Rock“ felt like the perfect title although the music ranges from P-Funk and Spiritual Jazz to various styles of Pop and beyond.“ Max Graef has previously collaborated with Glenn Astro on records for Ninja Tune and both artists have previously released on Tartelet. This marks the fourth official LP on Black Focus, a London label founded by Kamaal Williams
Ten incredible albums culled from the deepest, weirdest co-op of record enthusiasts ever gathered under one banner.
“We’ve spared no expense packaging these, pairing the idea of the Art of Compilation with living and breathing art, creating little fortune cookies baked in a factory of forgotten dreams. Video games, pyramids, trading cards, matchbooks, mazes, lottery tickets, film canisters, yearbooks, and various other exercises in design absurdity.
A lounge in the Poconos located just inside a Holiday Inn, 1973. The smoky haze clears to reveal a middle aged couple on a one-foot high stage, prattling on about the weather or Watergate before launching into a serviceable cover of Burt Bacharach’s “Do You Know The Way To San Jose?” Tens of thousands of such combos littered restaurants, cruise ships, casinos, lobbies, and cocktail bars throughout the ’60s and ’70s, but far fewer cut a record worth buying from the stage, much less listening to on the home hi-fi. Gathered here are 14 lounge originals from across the entire easy listening spectrum. A spent matchbook’s worth of crooners, bossa nobodies, seafood jazzers, and Donca-Matic enthusiasts all in search for their ticket out of a red leather booth hell.”
In Stock March 17, 2020
Stay on it! This is the future! This is the spectral dreaming, the reshaped soundwaves of post-Katrina, post-Osage Avenue, post-Obamacare that we borrow from to do this work, so stay on it.
Who Sent You? they said from their liquid cryo-chamber, from a low-light induction field cobbled together with lithium rods, with melted down Romare Bearden and Howardena Pindell paintings, stitched with chaos fibers and placed in the center of the carrion husk of a burnt out shanty town. They took time to scrape ashen samples of what was, their souls the residue thick and caked on, that still climbs those new high-rise condominiums like moss—the only evidence that they were once there, that they were baked into the fabric of this planet—they were there fixing elevators and tossing wrenches into quantum fields until they were stopped! frisked! and turned into weird, 100-foot martyr murals on the backside, the north side, of supermarket walls—Who Sent You? is how the matrix modulation works.
Dig it: Who Sent You? is the punk-rocking of jazz and the mystification of the avant-garde, a sci-fi sound from that out-soul-fire jazz quintet Irreversible Entanglements. Who Sent You? they asked and tried to lock us in their distress chambers, and yet here it is: an album that functions as a heat-sealed care package for the modern Afrofuturist’s pre-flight machinations. This record weaves kinetic soul fusion, dreamy yet harrowing spectral poetry, and intricate force-field-tight rhythms into wild, warmth-giving tapestries that comfort and conceal, confront and coerce all at once, with the dark matter of the deep, black all-consuming universe as its thread.
Where the band’s self-titled debut was all explosive noisy anthems and glorious cosmic bluster, Who Sent You? is a focused and patient ritual. Irreversible Entanglements take their time in between these grooves, stalking the war-torn streets of the Deep South and post-Columbian apocalypses—taking their time to add our DNA to the centrifuge, to dream up an alchemical amalgamation that sounds truly euphoric, drenched in the epic star-flung fallout of a nova only they can conjure. More than the sum of its parts—Luke Stewart’s war-like basslines, Keir Neuringer’s haunting saxophone, Aquiles Navarro’s cyberpunk brass, the unwieldy storm of Tcheser Holmes’ drums, and the oracular phyletic incantations of Camae Ayewa—Who Sent You? is an entire holistic jam of “infinite possibilities coming back around,” a sprawling meditation for afro-cosmonauts, a reminder of the forms and traumas of the past, and the shape and vision of Afrotopian sounds to come.
The title of Horace Tapscott’s debut release is apt, if not self-referential, for indeed a giant of West Coast jazz had awakened with this, the pianist/composer/bandleader’s 1969 album for the Flying Dutchman label. Tapscott went on to form two groups crucial to the flowering of modern jazz in the Los Angeles area, the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra (or P.A.P.A.; the name is an homage to Tapscott’s predecessor and peer, Sun Ra), which eventually became part of a larger umbrella organization, Union of God’s Musicians and Artists Ascension (UGMAA). Out of UGMAA came a host of LA-bred musicians, singers, and poets, including Arthur Blythe (who goes by Black Arthur Blythe on this recording), Stanley Crouch (who wrote the original liner notes), David Murray, Butch Morris, Wilber Morris, Jimmy Woods, Nate Morgan, and Sinclair Greenwell, Jr. (a.k.a. Guido Sinclair). And anchoring it all was Tapscott himself; as Kamasi Washington, whose vision of a large, Los Angeles community-based ensemble echoes that of P.A.P.A. and UGMAA, said in 2015: “Horace is one of the most important figures in the foundation of music in L.A., from both a purely musically and socially conscious perspective.” Now, Real Gone Music is proud to present the first-ever LP reissue of The Giant Is Awakened (original copies go for hundreds of dollars), taken from high-resolution audio sources and complete with original gatefold artwork. Neon green vinyl pressing limited to 1000 copies…a foundational document of West Coast modern jazz!
Be With Records present a reissue of Victor Cavini’s Japan, originally released in 1983. The first Be With foray into the archives of revered German library institution Selected Sound is one of Be With’s favorites on the label. Rare and sought-after for many years now, this is one of those cult library LPs that never turn up. With Daibutsu the giant Buddha of Kamakura’s presence gracing the hefty front cover, this is a record bursting with dope samples for adventurous producers: it’s koto-funk madness! Victor Cavini was the library music pseudonym of prolific German composer and musician Gerhard Trede. He was known for exploring instruments and styles from around the world (he played over 50 different instruments himself) and Japan is his collection of 14 musical sketches painted with traditional Japanese wind and string instruments. These are the sounds of traditional Japanese folk music re-interpreted through Western ears, with the occasional contemporary twist. Contemporary for 1983, of course. These “Pictures Of Japan” are hypnotic, sometimes frantic, but always beautiful. The first twelve tracks offer airy explorations of koto and flute, with other strings and percussion being added and then given their own space. Indeed “Pictures Of Japan XII” is just drums. And then “Pictures Of Japan XIII” seems to come out of nowhere. But the subtle sleaze of its full band sound still doesn’t quite prepare you for the towering climax of “Pictures Of Japan XIV”. This is Japan’s undoubted standout piece, completely and wonderfully at odds with the rest of the album. It’s the reason this has become such a must-have record. It keeps the traditional Japanese instruments but combines them with shuffling funk breaks, electric bass high in the mix and a Godzilla-sized psychedelic fuzz guitar sound that might actually be a traditional reed flute pushed to its limits. Recalling both Rino de Filippi’s 1973 album Oriente Oggi (CNLP 042LP) and Giancarlo Barigozzi’s Oriente also from 1973, the track’s a real head-nod groove for b-boys and b-girls alike that sounds straight out of a late-70s Yakuza film. Indeed, if you were told The RZA or Onra had cooked this up in the lab this century, you’d be convinced. It’s crazy that this dates from 1983. Audio remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. Richard Robinson has handled the careful restoration of the original Selected Sound sleeve.
First released on digital formats back in 2016, and here now given a richly deserved full vinyl release, Holy Science, the debut outing from Amirtha Kidambi and her New York based quartet The Elder Ones, is a work of dazzling singularity. Delicately yet unashamedly divulging its complex network of influences at every turn, Holy Science simultaneously disperses of boundary and limitation, emerging as an album steeped in tradition yet located firmly in the futuristic present. Amirtha Kidambi, the Elder Ones’ leader, composer and vocalist, was a child of South Indian heritage, and she grew up immersed in the tradition of devotional singing, joining in with free-form, improvised Bhajans on regular Sundays. She began simultaneously accompanying her voice with the harmonium from the age of three. These formative experiences continued to instruct and merge with her ongoing musical explorations as she went on to study classical music, all the while ingesting the punk, R&B and rap that surrounded her. A particularly significant discovery was that of free and avant jazz, and in particular the music of Alice and John Coltrane, in whom Kidambi found clear echoes and parallels with those Bhajans and Ragas of her earliest musical awakenings. All these influences collide on Holy Science, at times as explosive blasts of sky-opening thunder, at others as moments of soothing, meditative bliss. These holy bursts are enacted by Kidambi’s assembled musicians and are given permission to explore the science of spiritual alchemy, plundering their individual and collective soul for the sake of musical expression, and all of the unpredictable and profound revelations such an approach might yield. Holy Science is a work underpinned by traditions, be they the Bhajan spirituals, or the jazz and classical avant gardes, that are in their own manner, archetypal. But perhaps most importantly, all of these forms contain an inbuilt capacity for discovery and progression. Amirtha Kidambi’s musical pathway has been defined by a studied determination to occupy this specific space, the unbounded realm of improvisation and exploration, summoning the acquired instruments of experience, knowledge, culture, and tradition to unlock secrets of the past, present and future. The most cherished music is often remarked upon as having a timeless quality — ancient, modern and futuristic, all at once. And so it is with Holy Science. Liner notes by DJ Cherrystones.
Outernational Sounds present a reissue of Nate Morgan’s Retribution, Reparation, originally released on Nimbus West Records in 1984. A core member of the circle around Horace Tapscott, pianist Nate Morgan was a key member of the Pan Afrikan People’s Arkestra, known as The Ark. Here is the second of his two LPs for Nimbus West. His first, Journey Into Nigritia (OTR 008LP) had been a declaration of arrival laced with energies drawn from Cecil Taylor and Coltrane. One year later, in 1984, with nods to Herbie Hancock (“One Finger Snap”) and Ellington (“Come Sunday”), Retribution, Reparation was a confident statement of purpose. Politically charged with pan-Africanist Black nationalism, and titled with uncompromising directness, the album focusses the sound world of the Ark into a surging, restless masterpiece of spiritualized modal jazz. Danny Cortez on trumpet and Jesse Sharps on saxophones comprise an explosive frontline. Fritz Wise and Ark regular Joel Ector hold down the rhythm section. Morgan’s forceful, Tyner-like chords and virtuosic solos bind the music together. From the poised drama of the opening dedication to Tapscott’s U.G.M.A.A. organization, through the propulsive militancy of the title track, “Retribution, Reparation” spreads the word: “Advance to Victory, Let Nigritia Be Free!” Fully licensed from Nimbus West founder Tom Albach.
“Preserved on two reels in Rashied Ali’s tape archive, this document may have been only the second time that Ali had led a band in public. The band membership is stellar and unprecedented, and the tunes they play predate all known segments of Ali’s career as a composer or bandleader. Ali was still officially on the job as Coltrane’s drummer when he assembled this cast for perhaps as little as two sets of music in the Spring of 1967. It appears to be the earliest documented activity for the late tenor saxophonist Ramon Morris, who had thoroughly absorbed the lessons of John Coltrane, post 1961. Trumpeter Dewey Johnson had his peak moment of fame two years prior, appearing with Coltrane on the orchestral Free Jazz masterpiece Ascension. Pianist Stanley Cowell was just emerging as a distinctive voice among the open-minded ‘Young Lions’ of the day, on his way from Marion Brown’s quartet to groups led by Max Roach. Bassist Reggie Johnson was already familiar with Slugs; he had worked there, alongside Ali and Cowell, across the previous two years. This stereo recording gives us a front row seat — with all the grit and mayhem from those heady times. Meticulous remastering from the original tapes has polished this bit of East Village verité into a riveting, glistening-but-raw pearl from the black underground of the Sixties. 2xLP gatefold tip-on jacket, pressed on RTI Vinyl.”
“Duo Exchange was the flagship release of Survival Records. Percussionist Rashied Ali and saxophonist Frank Lowe were both in a hurry to ignite their careers as leaders, and this record lit the match. Survival Records was a joint venture between the duo, and the recording sessions done at Marzette Watts’s studio were the maiden voyage of their partnership. They went in to capture the vehemence bursting forth nightly in the downtown lofts, and the results were furious, brutal, and poignant. With the release of this album in 1973, Ali and his family and Frank Lowe and his family all became executives and clerks helping to get the word out. And getting the records out — at loft shows and Village record haunts. The message of untamed tenor saxophone and Ali’s drums should sound familiar: That’s the combination that made jazz history in Ali’s 1967 duets with his then-employer, John Coltrane. What eventually came out as Interstellar Space is its own pinnacle of the genre, but its release was still a year off when Duo Exchange was issued to the public. Mixed and mastered from the original tapes, this expanded 2020 edition restores sections of the original record inexplicably excised from the CD release in the nineties, and expands on it with more than double the playing time of the original LP with fascinating outtake versions that rephrase the familiar tracks. 2xLP gatefold tip-on jacket, pressed on RTI Vinyl.”
In 1984 the German free jazz duet of Alfred Harth and Heiner Goebbels released an album containing their interpretation of a Chinese opera from the 60s. Then in 1995, using extensive samples from that German recording alongside a free rock ensemble and traditional Asian instruments, Otomo Yoshihide and his Ground Zero band issued a terrific and definitive rendition of that opera, in the form of a noisy sound collage.
We reunited the Japanese and original German versions on that record.
Athens of the north is not just here to release great music but to support our artist development and experimentation, to this end we always try to bring good people together to work on new music. This LP fuses two massive talents, for the first time to AOTN we introduce House and Techno legend Linkwood, joining him is one of the |UKs most respected Jazz Artists Greg Foat, who will need no introduction to AOTN fans
‘Linkwood & Foat’ is the first LP to be recorded in the new ‘Athens of the North Studio’, which was designed and built specifically for our artists so that they can create without the time pressures or expenses of studio hire elsewhere. With no fixed plans, no rules or expectations, the pair relaxed in the new studio and started making music. The result is very special indeed
Linkwood had just returned from walking in the wilds of an Ibiza summer and Greg had similarly been immersed on the sun drenched south coast of the Isle of wight. This freedom and sense of space saturates the grooves of the LP juxtapositioned against a deeper late night basement club feel they both love so much, the pull between nightlife and the freedom of nature. It’s extroversion and introversion, the freedom and escapism of the two seemingly opposing environments permeates this recording.
The sublime Time Capsule remains Weldon Irvine’s most fully realized and influential recording. A supremely talented multi-instrumentalist and composer, Irvine had a musical vision that was unerringly soulful, spiritual, and funky. Assembled as a kind of musical scrapbook documenting the thought patterns and belief systems of the early ‘70s, it nevertheless boasts a surprising vitality and timelessness thanks to luminous funk grooves that anticipate the latter-day emergence of acid jazz. Irvine also rhymes over several tracks, further cementing his influence on successive generations of hip-hop. A profoundly righteous spirituality winds through all eight of Time Capsule’s performances, assaying both the affection (“Soul Sisters”) and anger (“Watergate”) vying for control of post-Woodstock America. Irvine’s searing keyboard and piano playing further capture the moment in question, deftly balancing between beatitude and bitterness. For fans of funk, soul and jazz, it doesn’t get much better than this 1973 classic.
Dae Han is the unsung backbone behind progressive Honolulu acts and international artists. He’s the go-to drummer whenever Japanese rapper Shing02 tours the US and Asia with a full band. In 2019, Takuya Kuroda tapped Dae to organize a band to support the Brooklyn-based trumpeter’s gig at Blue Note Hawaii. Dae also recently teamed up with guitarist Gilbert Batangan and bassist Mark Tanouye to open for Khruangbin. And every year he organizes an always impressive jazz-forward tribute to the late J Dilla.
On the drums, Dae’s swift, technical style compliments every situation, from jazz and funk to R&B, reggae, and hip hop. Much the same, Dae has approached the compositions and arrangements for his debut with craft and purpose.
BLUE, coming in February 2020, came to fruition over the past 12 months with the help of Nelson Cho, the musician and recording engineer behind Lightworks Recordings in Wahiawa, Oahu. Together, the two spent countless hours honing a sound that travels across hip hop, jazz, and house.
The resulting songs act as a diary of the artist’s fateful journey from Washington D.C. through New York to Honolulu, where he resides today. Reflecting on joyful highs and the lowest lows, Dae creates a collage for the listener to hear, appreciate, and understand the path he’s traveled thus far.
Introducing Eric Bowr’s third installment to the Broken Lamps music catalog. Like its predecessor Kaleidoscope, Metropolis continues its journey through 70s production music by experimenting with sounds reminiscent to British music libraries like KPM, Chappell and De Wolfe. While maintaining a feel for retro urban counterculture, the album weaves its way through various film genres like Crime Drama, Eurospy,Exploitation and more! By combining bass driven rhythms and funk horns with organ fueled 60s surf tones, Metropolis transports you to the “odd corners” of a vintage film set with an atmosphere soaked in nostalgia. Consider this record to be the soundtrack to your next need-to-know-only mission or late night rendezvous. Brought to you on 180 gram vinyl by Electric Nerve Music in association with Two Headed Dog.
Originally Sanders was interested in urban blues music, but his high school teacher exposed him to jazz and this took Farrell in an entirely new direction. Once completing high school Sanders quickly packed his belongings and headed to Oakland, where he got a chance to work with musicians of high caliber such as saxophone players Sonny Simmons and Dewey Redman (who were both later to be major forces in new jazz and free jazz). Soon the young Pharoah would meet John Coltrane and would feel being attracted to the life as a professional musician. By the early sixties Sanders moved to New York where the major jazz scene was happening. Here he’d spent most his time honing his skills at rehearsals with Sun Ra….sadly he was not making much money with the Arkestra and soon found himself living on the streets, trying to stay up all night playing and then scrounging for money during the day, often selling blood to eat.
Sanders recorded his debut album for ESP soon after, but it wasn’t until he started playing with his old friend John Coltrane that he would fully unleash the fury of his saxophone on the world of free jazz. The records Pharoah Sanders played on for Coltrane laid the foundation of what was to come for both the world of free jazz and for Sanders as a musician. After Coltrane’s tragic death Sanders would record further with Alice Coltrane, John’s widow, on the album Karma (1969 – Impulse!), which is universally accepted as Sanders’ masterpiece. Along with musicians Alice Coltrane and singer Leon Thomas, Sanders helped to create the genre of spiritual jazz.
On this (harder to find) album we are presenting you today (Welcome to Love) you’ll find sublime French recordings (recorded in 1990-released in 1991). Here, Sanders plays with an all-star line-up consisting of Stafford James (Sun Ra) on bass, William Henderson (Roy Ayers) on piano & Eccleston W. Wainwright on drums. On Welcome to Love, the master saxophonist plays straight-up jazz, and the result is a gorgeous collection of ballads where you can really feel Sanders’ enormous self-reflection and homesickness. Sanders is famous for getting sounds out of his sax that no else can, but on these recordings he treats the songs with reverent lyricism on both tenor and soprano…each song is infused with a subtle emotional quality that simply does not let go.
Hailed as Sanders’ finest albums from his re-thinking period, in many ways, the album is a tribute to Coltrane’s Ballads album of 1961 but with Pharoah’s print marked all over it. Here the listener explores the gentler side of Pharoah Sanders…a jazz giant who is communicating subtly and serenely. His incredible technique is displayed not in furious runs but in exquisite note choices, the mark of the outstanding communicator as demonstrated in the art of the ballad. Sanders communicates with a warmth and tonal center that is unusual among present players and compares favorably to the many soprano sax greats that have preceded him.
Tidal Waves Music proudly presents the FIRST EVER VINYL RELEASE of this essential album, up till now these recordings were only issued as a Compact Disc in 1991. Now finally available as a deluxe 180g DOUBLE LP set and also comes with an extra bonus track (from the same sessions) that was only featured on the Japanese CD version. This vinyl release is limited to 500 copies worldwide and comes with an obi strip.
Chicago drummer and composer Jeremy Cunningham wrote The Weather Up There in response to the loss of his brother Andrew, who died in a home invasion robbery in 2008. Co-produced by Jeff Parker and Paul Bryan, and engineered by Paul Bryan and John McEntire, this new work confronts the tragedy of violence and examines the acute ripple effect on several people’s lives through the lens of memory, response, and collage. Further deepening the textural and emotive impact, Cunningham formed a “drum choir” for these recordings, comprised of close mentors and colleagues Mike Reed, Makaya McCraven, and Mikel Patrick Avery. Cunningham also taps regular collaborators Ben LaMar Gay, Jaimie Branch, Tomeka Reid, Dustin Laurenzi, Matt Ulery, and Josh Johnson.
Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band is one of the most distinctive and long-running bands in Jazz in the 21st Century. The Fellowship first formed in 1997, helmed by drummer Brian Blade and defined by the tight bond among the musicians: pianist Jon Cowherd, bassist Chris Thomas, alto saxophonist Myron Walden, and tenor saxophonist Melvin Butler. Released in 1998, their Blue Note debut Brian Blade Fellowship was produced by Daniel Lanois, featured contributions by guitarist Jeff Parker and pedal steel guitarist Dave Easley, and introduced The Fellowship’s unique sound which threads elements of jazz, folk and gospel music together with an uplifting hymnal quality.
This Blue Note 80 Vinyl Edition was mastered by Kevin Gray and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.
There are several Chet Baker albums with the title Chet Baker Sings, but this one recorded for Pacific Jazz in 1954 and 1956 is the original, and arguably, the best. The album features Chet’s indelible vocals and sterling trumpet playing with two different quartet line-ups both featuring pianist Russ Freeman on a set of classic standards that he made his own including “My Funny Valentine,” “That Old Feeling,” and “I Fall In Love Too Easily.” For the first time in more than 60 years, this definitive edition was cut from the original master tapes in the correct order with pristine fidelity. The gatefold packaging includes additional session photography by William Claxton.