Jazz

Milt Jackson “Ballads & Blues” (Speakers Corner)

2020-04-30T22:45:14+00:00April 30th, 2020|

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!

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Jackie Mclean “A Fickle Sonance” (Blue Note)

2020-04-30T22:45:13+00:00April 30th, 2020|

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.

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Duke Ellington “Money Jungle (Tone Poet Series)” (Blue Note)

2020-04-30T22:45:12+00:00April 30th, 2020|

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.

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Dr. Lonnie Smith “All In My Mind” (Blue Note)

2020-04-30T22:45:11+00:00April 30th, 2020|

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.

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Lee Morgan “The Cooker (Tone Poet Series)” (Blue Note)

2020-04-30T22:45:11+00:00April 30th, 2020|

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.

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Emma-Jean Thackray “Rain Dance” (Movementt)

2020-04-30T22:45:10+00:00April 30th, 2020|

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.”

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Dexter Gordon “A Swingin Affair” (Blue Note)

2020-04-16T20:20:03+00:00April 16th, 2020|

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.

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Herbie Hancock “The Prisoner (Tone Poet Series)” (Blue Note)

2020-04-16T20:20:02+00:00April 16th, 2020|

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.”

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Sam Gendel and Sam Wilkes “Music For Saxofone & Bass Guitar” (Leaving)

2020-04-16T20:20:00+00:00April 16th, 2020|

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.”

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John Carroll Kirby “My Garden” (Stones Throw)

2020-04-16T20:19:58+00:00April 16th, 2020|

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.

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Hideto Sasaki – Toshiyuki Sekine Quartet +1 “Stop Over” (BBE)

2020-04-16T20:19:58+00:00April 16th, 2020|

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.

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Wendell Harrison “Dreams Of A Love Supreme” (Tidal Waves)

2020-04-16T20:19:56+00:00April 16th, 2020|

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).

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David Toop & Paul Burwell “Wounds” (Song Cycle)

2020-04-03T01:02:05+00:00April 3rd, 2020|

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.

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Jaman “Sweet Heritage” (Outernational Sounds)

2020-04-03T01:02:02+00:00April 3rd, 2020|

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.

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Fire! Orchestra “Actions” (Rune Grammofon)

2020-04-03T01:01:58+00:00April 3rd, 2020|

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.

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The Greg Foat Group “Girl And Robot With Flowers” (Jazzman)

2020-03-27T02:29:22+00:00March 27th, 2020|

‘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.

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Matao and Atilla Engin “Turkish Delight” (Arsivplak)

2020-03-20T19:41:34+00:00March 19th, 2020|

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.

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Mystery Kindaichi Band “The Adventure of Kohsuke Kindaichi” (WEWANTSOUNDS)

2020-03-20T19:43:22+00:00March 19th, 2020|

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.

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Moses Boyd “Dark Matter” (Exodus)

2020-03-20T19:48:46+00:00March 19th, 2020|

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.

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Ratgrave “Rock” (Black Focus)

2020-03-20T19:55:07+00:00March 19th, 2020|

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

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Various Artists “Whispers: Lounge Originals” (Numero)

2020-03-20T19:57:13+00:00March 19th, 2020|

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.”

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Who Sent You?

2020-03-19T20:31:13+00:00March 12th, 2020|

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.

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Horace Tapscott “The Giant Is Awakened” (Real Gone)

2020-03-13T20:33:43+00:00March 12th, 2020|

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!

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Victor Cavini ‎”Japan” (Be With)

2020-03-13T20:33:44+00:00March 5th, 2020|

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.

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Amirtha Kidambi “Holy Science” (Jazzman)

2020-03-13T20:33:44+00:00March 5th, 2020|

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.

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Nate Morgan ‎”Retribution, Reparation” (Outernational Sounds)

2020-03-13T20:33:45+00:00March 5th, 2020|

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.

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Rashied Ali Quintet ‎”First Time Out: Live At Slugs 1967″ (Survival)

2020-03-13T20:33:45+00:00March 5th, 2020|

“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.”

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Rashied Ali & Frank Lowe ‎”Duo Exchange: Complete Sessions” (Survival)

2020-03-13T20:33:45+00:00March 5th, 2020|

“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.”

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Ground Zero “Revolutionary Pekinese Opera Ver. 1.28” (Le Narthecophore)

2020-03-13T20:33:45+00:00March 5th, 2020|

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.

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Linkwood & Foat “Linkwood & Foat” (Athens Of The North)

2020-03-13T20:33:46+00:00March 5th, 2020|

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.

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Weldon Irvine “Time Capsule” (Pure Pleasure)

2020-03-13T20:33:46+00:00March 5th, 2020|

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.

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Dae Han “Blue” (Aloha Got Soul)

2020-03-13T20:33:46+00:00March 5th, 2020|

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.

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Broken Lamps “Metropolis” (Electric Nerve Music)

2020-03-13T20:33:46+00:00March 5th, 2020|

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.

Pharoah Sanders “Welcome To Love” (Tidal Waves)

2020-03-13T20:33:47+00:00March 5th, 2020|

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.

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Jeremy Cunningham “The Weather Up There” (Northern Spy)

2020-03-13T20:34:08+00:00February 28th, 2020|

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.

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Alabaster DePlume “To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Vol. 1” (International Anthem)

2020-03-13T20:34:08+00:00February 28th, 2020|

Alabaster DePlume is a London-based bandleader, composer, saxophonist, activist and orator. Whilst much of his music contains vocals, this is a collection of instrumentals. The music of To Cy & Lee… contains naturally elegant orchestration wrapped around something visceral and primordial. The music is filled with space, inspired by computer games and Japanese animation, particularly Joe Hisaishi’s soundtrack for Castle In The Sky. The record combines new compositions alongside bygone instrumentals and under-stated lullabies that feel like they’ve been picked from between the cracks of civilization. DePlume purposefully brings together players of different skill levels and backgrounds so they have to interact differently. ‘I wanted to destroy the idea of correct so we were playing it different ways for fun. We had a very magical time playing the tunes.’ This is activism expressed through gorgeous music that breaks down barriers by encouraging that most powerful emotion: connectedness.

 

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Brian Blade “Brian Blade Fellowship” (Blue Note)

2020-03-13T20:34:08+00:00February 28th, 2020|

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.

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Grant Green “Nigeria (Tone Poet)”(Blue Note)

2020-03-13T20:34:09+00:00February 28th, 2020|

Grant Green’s Nigeria is an under-recognized gem in the guitarist’s remarkable Blue Note catalog. Recorded in 1962, but not first released until 1980, the album features a top-shelf band with Sonny Clark on piano, Sam Jones on bass, and, in one of his only appearances with Green, Art Blakey on drums. The groove is deep and wide right from the start on the Sonny Rollins classic “Airegin” followed by a version of the Gershwin standard “It Ain’t Necessarily So” for the ages with Blakey stoking the fire with his powerhouse drumming and verbal shouts. Side B presents timeless renditions of 3 more standards: “I Concentrate On You,” “The Things We Did Last Summer,” and “The Song Is You.”

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Chet Baker Chet Baker Sings (Tone Poet)” (Blue Note)

2020-03-13T20:34:09+00:00February 28th, 2020|

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.

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Sam Rivers “The Quest” (Pausa)

2020-03-13T20:34:11+00:00February 28th, 2020|

During the mid 1970’s multi-instrumentalist Sam Rivers was at the forefront of the progressing jazz scene. Here’s a fine exact repro LP-reissue of his 1976 album, which was recorded in Milan, Italy.

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Alice Coltrane “Africa: Live At The Carnegie Hall 1971” (Alternative Fox)

2020-03-13T20:34:13+00:00February 20th, 2020|

The musician and spiritual seeker Alice Coltrane was much more than just John Coltrane’s second wife. One of the few harpists to feature prominently in jazz, she was also a renowned pianist and composer and her interest in spiritual matters greatly helped steer her husband deeper into Krishna consciousness, which had significant bearing on his music, most notably evident on A Love Supreme (1965). This mesmerizing performance, held at Carnegie Hall four years after John’s untimely passing as part of a benefit event for Swami Satchidananda’s Integral Yoga Institute, comprised a stunning and largely improvised rendition of Coltrane’s “Africa,” with Alice’s subtle piano and harp expressions excellently framed by the wailing saxes of Pharaoh Sanders and Archie Shepp, Cecil McBee and Jimmy Garrison trading non-standard bass lines, a dual drum onslaught from Clifford Jarvis and Ed Blackwell, along with members of the Institute on harmonium and tamboura.

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Laboratorio Della Quercia “Laboratorio Della Quercia” (Alternative Fox)

2020-03-13T20:34:13+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Alternative Fox present a reissue of Laboratorio Della Quercia’s self-titled released, originally released in 1979. In the summer of 1978, an ambitious twelve-day experimental jazz project was undertaken at the ancient amphitheater, Tasso della Quercia, on the slopes of Rome’s Gianicolo Hill. The idea was to assemble the leading players from Italy’s avant-garde jazz scene, revolving around members of Grande Elenco Musicisti (or GEM), such as saxophonists Tommaso Vittorini, Eugenio Colombo, and Maurizio Giammarco, trumpeter Alberto Corvini and trombonist/composer Danilo Terenzi, together with visiting American players such as saxophonists Steve Lacy, Steve Potts, and Evan Parker, trombonist Roswell Rudd, pianist Frederick Rzewski, and drummer Noel McGhee, among others. Different group configurations were enacted each day and the final gala concert formed the basis of this super rare and highly playful double album, which captures the delightfully messy proceedings. In keeping with the openness of the Roman jazz scene of the day, the project sought to push the boundaries, aiming to break big-band traditions whilst still emphasizing the collective nature of the experience. Enrico Rava’s opening “Tromblues” emphasizes the disparate approaches of these trans-Atlantic teams and Terenzi’s “Dialogando” uses dual trombones to heighten musical discord; in mutated big-band mode, Giammarco’s thrillingly complex “Vortex Waltz”, and Vittorini’s “La Legge E Uguale Per Tutti” both speak to the limitless potential that the project was aiming for.

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Syncro Jazz “Live” (Mad About)

2020-03-13T20:34:13+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Mad About Records present the first worldwide reissue of Syncro Jazz’s Live, originally released in 1982. Recorded Live at S. Paulo in 1982 it was originally issued on Amado Maita’s small indie label in the 80s called Poitou. Featuring one of the best Brazilian sax players, the legendary Nestico and his sister composer, piano player Lilu Aguiar. Nestico joined several jazz ensembles in São Paulo, having participated in 1977 in the first Jazz festival held at the Municipal Theater, alongside the musicians Samuel (piano), Nilson (bass), and Caram (drums). He performed several times in São Paulo with Syncro Jazz group. In 1982, with the ensemble he released the LP Live, along with the musicians Lilu Aguiar (piano), Peter Wooley (bass), Vidal (sax, flute), Dagmar (trumpet), and Ronny Machado (drums). In the repertoire, the songs “Pro César”, dedicated to pianist César Camargo Mariano, “Winter Knows” and “Black Cock”, all by Lilu Aguiar, “For Guzi” (Peter Wooley), “Cruzan” (M. Santamaria) and “Revelation” (S. Fortune). The LP contains amazing Fender Rhodes solos in a heavy modal spiritual and bossa jazz a la Strata-East and Black Jazz Records. Rare Brazilian spiritual jazz. Legendary sessions produced by Amado Maita. Reissued from the original master tapes. Thick cover; obi; deluxe, numbered limited edition.

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Company “1983” (Honest Jon’s)

2020-03-13T20:34:13+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Wonderful, previously unreleased recordings by Derek Bailey and his guests at Company Week in 1983. What’s remarkable throughout this album is the respect and affection the musicians show for each other, exemplifying the dictionary definition of “company” as “the fact or condition of being with another or others, especially in a way that provides friendship and enjoyment.” It starts with “Landslide”, a brilliant, spiky, spluttering, twanging reunion of Music Improvisation Company members Evan Parker (tenor sax), Hugh Davies (electronics), and Jamie Muir (percussion). Next up, “Seconde Choix”, with Joëlle Léandre’s close-miked prepared bass and Bailey’s acoustic guitar seemingly heading in different directions before coming together miraculously in just four minutes. The opening of “First Choice”, a duet between Bailey and Muir, is a revelation for those who moan that the guitarist plays too many notes. His patient and truly exquisite exploration of harmonics is beautifully counterpointed by Muir’s metallic percussion. On “Pile Ou Face” (Heads Or Tails) Davies concentrates on his high register oscillators, carefully shadowed by Parker’s soprano until Léandre’s deft, springy pizzicato lures them into the playground. “JD In Paradise” is a surprisingly delicate wind quartet, with John Corbett’s trumpet, fragile and Don Cherry-like, punctuating the sinuous interplay between Peter Brötzmann and J.D. Parran (on sopranos, flutes and clarinet), while trombonist Vinko Globokar growls approvingly in the background. Igor Stravinsky’s magnificent definition of music as the jeu de notes comes to mind listening to Bailey’s duet with cellist Ernst Reijseger (executing fiendish double-stopped harmonics with staggering ease). Technical virtuosity has never sounded so effortless — it is, as its title “Een Plezierig Stukje” simply states, a fun piece. On the closing “La Horda”, Bailey and Reijseger team up with the horns for what on paper looks like it could be rough and rowdy sextet but which turns out once more to be a thoughtful, spacious exchange of ideas, shapes, and colors.

The Sorcerers “In Search Of The Lost City Of The Monkey God” (ATA)

2020-03-13T20:34:15+00:00February 20th, 2020|

ATA Records are proud to announce the follow up to the critically acclaimed debut album from The Sorcerers. Conceived as a soundtrack to an imagined lost European exploitation film, ‘In Search of The Lost City of The Monkey God’ covers a wide range of influences: Ethiopiques Ethio-Jazz rubs up against European library music of the 60s and 70s. The Sorcerers seamlessly blend these disparate elements into one cohesive sound.

Based in ATA Records’ home of Leeds, The Sorcerers form the backbone of the ATA Records house band including drummer Joost Hendrickx (Kefaya, Shatner’s Bassoon, Abstract Orchestra) and ATA label heads Neil Innes (Bass & Guitar) and Pete Williams (Woodwinds & Percussion). Bass clarinets, flutes, and esoteric percussion that sit alongside bass, guitar and drums are essential to The Sorcerers sound providing cinematic textures on top of a solid rhythmic foundation.

The Sorcerers began working on the new album during the winter of 2018 and it was during the writing sessions for this album that the concept for the LP began to take shape. The name for the album was taken from the title of a National Geographic article read by Bassist Neil Innes and was used as the starting point for the entire concept. The library music scene of the 60s and 70s has always been an intrinsic part of the sound of ATA Records and so it made perfect sense to envisage the album as a soundtrack, given the cinematic quality of The Sorcerers music.
Each track was written with a particular scene in mind and the music was then shaped in the studio to best reflect the essence of that scene. Drums, Bass and Percussion provide the solid foundation onto which Flutes, Bass Clarinets, Xylophones and Vibraphones add the atmospheric and melodic counterpoint, deftly weaving between one another to conjure up images of the unforgiving environment of the dense jungle, unknown eyes watching the protagonists of the imagined film as they make their way towards their ultimate goal, their pursuit by unseen assailants, the arcane mysticism of undiscovered cargo cultists and
the ancient ruins of long passed civilisations.
The original debut album rapidly sold out on release and became a highly sought-after LP, commanding prices of up to £85 on the second-hand market. Receiving praise from the likes of Mulatu Astatke, Gilles Peterson, Stuart Maconie & Jazzman Gerald, it has become a cornerstone of ATA Records roster and an intrinsic element of the ATA Records sound.

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Contemporary Jazz Quintet “The Black Hole” (180 Proof)

2020-03-13T20:34:15+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Previously unreleased recording from the seminal jazz group, Contemporary Jazz Quintet (CJQ).

Pianist Kenny Cox was the perfect singularity for this operation in late 1960s Detroit.  He had studied at Cass Tech High School and the Detroit Conservatory of Music and would perform with greats like fellow Detroiter, Yusef Lateef. He eventually wound up on the road with Etta Jones for an extended period of time. When he returned home, he found a scene that was in big trouble.  There was little music going on. His wife, Barbara Cox, remembered, “When Ken got back to Detroit he was in the George Bohannon band.  George elected to move out to California to do session work with Motown, when they moved out there.  Ken stayed in Detroit.”

In 1967, he began working with Ron Brooks at the Old Town in Ann Arbor. Kenny said, “That group started quite by accident.  Ron Brooks had a trio gig.  Stanley Cowell had been working with him and Stan left to go work with Rahsaan Roland Kirk.  Ron asked me to come up and take Stan’s place and I did. It wasn’t too much later, no more than a week or so, that Charles Moore and Leon Henderson started showing up to sit in. That was the birth of the CJQ.”

Barbara dispelled the idea that Cox was the band’s leader. “When they got a contract with Blue Note, the label wanted to have somebody as a leader so that’s how it became Kenny Cox and the CJQ. it was sort of thrust on him.” She continued, “When they initially started, the music they were playing was too esoteric for the population, so they weren’t really called to work that often. They decided to get their own place. We set up a corporation and sold stock for a dollar a share. That gave us money to set up the coffee house, Strata Concert Gallery, so they would always have a place to work. We hardly had any money, but it was cool, we got it together. I think I went to every resale shop in Detroit to get tables and chairs.  Ron Brooks and Leon Henderson built the stage. We know that they couldn’t be the only band in there.  We set up an arm of Strata so that we could get grants to bring out-of-towners like Ornette Coleman and Herbie Hancock in.”

Kenny felt that the CJQ was the apex of his creative life. “The most important thing about that group, which was together for a solid seven years, was that we weren’t all necessarily socially compatible. But we were all committed to that music. We enjoyed playing together so much that we were actually breaking the curfew during the riots to go back-and-forth to Ann Arbor to play at the town bar.  We were running the risk of being shot or incarcerated just so we could play together.”

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Milt Jackson “Sunflower” (Pure Pleasure)

2020-03-13T20:34:15+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Recorded over two days in December of 1972 at Rudy Van Gelder’s Englewood, New Jersey home studio, vibraphonist Milt Jackson’s Sunflower is the first — and best — of his three albums for Creed Taylor’s CTI imprint. (And one of the finest offerings on the label.) With a core band consisting of Herbie Hancock (playing electric and acoustic piano), bassist Ron Carter, drummer Billy Cobham, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, drummer/percussionist Ralph McDonald, and guitarist Jay Berliner. A chamber orchestra exquisitely arranged and conducted by Don Sebesky adorns the session as well. Jackson’s “For Someone I Love,” opens the five-tune set, with Berliner playing solo flamenco guitar before the vibes, trumpet, and elements from the chamber orchestra delicately, impressionistically color the background.

It gradually moves into a languid, bluesy ballad that slowly gains in both texture and dynamic until the strings trill tensely. Hubbard and Hancock engage them in solos that gently swing out the tune. The reading of Michel Legrand’s “What Are You Doing for the Rest of Your Life” is a gorgeous showcase for Jackson; his solo dominates the arrangement. Carter gets downright funky on his upright to introduce Thom Bell’s “People Make the World Go Round,” and Hancock follows him on Rhodes. Jackson takes the melody, striking a layered contrast as Hubbard slips around all three playing an extension of the melody with requisite taste, fluidity, and taut phrasing. Hancock gets funky to the bone in his brief solo, as the vibes soar around and through his phrases. The title track is a Hubbard composition that floats and hovers with a Latin backbeat before shifting tempos as the solos begin.

The expanded harmonic palette of trumpet with the reeds, woodwinds, and strings on the melody add an exotic textural palette for his solo. Jackson’s “SKJ” closes the set with an old-school, swinging hard bop blues with barely detectable embellishments by Sebesky. While Sunflower sometimes feels more like a group session rather than a Jackson-led one, that’s part of its exquisite beauty.

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Byron Pope Speed Of Light “Music For Earthdwellers And Starseekers” (Tidal Waves Music)

2020-03-13T20:34:16+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Alto saxophonist Byron Herman Pope (born 1934) might be a rather unsung name on the bill despite being part of the avant-garde jazz circuit for more than half a century. Deeply committed to the ideas of John Coltrane, he has played with Alan Silva and Sunny Murray but only recorded sporadically over the course of his long career.

Coming from a musical family: Byron’s father was the band leader of his own orchestra and was a writer for Billie Holiday, his uncle Lee was the tenor sax player with Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson (until he retired & was replaced by a young man named John Coltrane) and his cousin was Darlene Love, the famous R&R Hall Of Fame singer/actress who was married to Phil Spector and godmother to Whitney Houston.

Growing up in a segregated Monroe-Louisiana in the 1940’s, at the age of 12, Byron Pope was exposed to concerts by African American bands at his high school…this became his principal motivation to become a musician himself. At the age of 19, Byron came to Germany as a US military serviceman…after two and a half years he returned to the States but was not able to accept the racism and political climate in his home country anymore.

After accumulating three professorships as a jazz teacher (including the title of professor in Jazz and Blues at University of Washington, Seattle in 1968) in the early Seventies Byron crossed the ocean again, this time he went to France. Here he met (and started performing with) the legendary Burton Greene and became friends with main players from the likes of Georges-Edouard Nouel and Chris Henderson.

Throughout his long career Byron kept close friendships with famous jazz and blues players including Sun Ra and John Coltrane (Coltrane wanted to record his song “This Way” but unfortunately passed away before he could do it). Byron Pope was a member of the Alan Silva Orchestra from 1972 to 1976, later he went on to play with Sunny Murray on a regular basis. Byron eventually settled in Geneva where he has lived ever since…dividing his time between his family, his love for spiritual yoga and his musical career.

Byron Pope’s 1982 LP Music For Earthdwellers And Starseekers (recorded at Studio Caroline, Paris) is a sublime modal jazz record with a nice cosmic spiritual touch. Enlisting a superb all-star line-up including Georges-Edouard Nouel on piano, Roger Raspail (Kassav) on percussion and Chris Henderson (Sun Ra) on drums. To top things off, the album was engineered by the legendary Jean-Philippe Bonichon (who later on went to become the engineer responsible for many of the early remixes of Dimitri From Paris).

Today we are proud to present to you the first ever vinyl reissue of this rare album (original copies tend to go for large amounts since only 1000 copies were pressed upon its release in 1982). This reissue is now available as a deluxe 180g vinyl edition (limited to 500 copies) featuring the original artwork and also comes with an insert containing pictures and liner notes.

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Moondog “On The Streets Of New York” (Mississippi)

2020-03-13T20:34:34+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Behold! A survey of Moondog’s earliest recorded works – many of them unreleased until now – through a collaboration by Mississippi Records and Lucia Records. From 1954–1962 field recordist Tony Schwartz frequently checked in with Moondog, his favorite street musician. Tony Schwartz made recordings of Moondog’s earliest compositions as they were coming into focus. Sometimes these recordings were made right on the street as Moondog busked, sometimes they were made in Schwartz’s studio, and sometimes they were made on NYC rooftops. The resulting recordings, many of which had never been released, were deposited at the Library Of Congress as part of the Tony Schwartz Collection in 2006 when Schwartz passed away, and this record was culled straight from these original tapes.

Side one kicks off with an unreleased version of Moondog’s classic composition “Why Spend The Dark Night With You?” followed by the first ever complete recording of his “Nocturne Suite,” a beautiful piece of classical music performed with members of the Royal Philharmonic. The side ends with the complete “On The Streets Of New York” 7″ EP, which was released on Mars records in 1955 and subsequently re-released by Honest Jon’s Records in 2004 on their excellent Moondog anthology. Side B features sketches of Moondog compositions never released, many with the man himself howling and chanting over his homemade percussion set.

Moondog’s music is as universal as it gets – part classical music, part Native American, part European folk, and part something completely unique. Moondog is one of the towering figures of 20th century music. This record comes with liner notes featuring never before released interviews with Moodog by Tony Schwartz and is housed in an old school “tip on” cover. All tracks fully licensed from the Library of Congress.

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Bohren & Der Club Of Gore “Patchouli Blue” (Pias)

2020-03-13T20:34:34+00:00February 20th, 2020|

25 years since ‘Gore Motel’, Bohren & Der Club of Gore hold their smoky line of doom-jazz in a sublime, haunting 10th album that once again taps into that interzone between classic Lynchian motifs and fizzing gothic undercurrents.​

The sylvan intimacy of ‘Patchouli Blue’ is a Bohren’s ineffable skill at lulling listeners into richly hypnagogic states. As ever they prize a deep sense of cool yearning that hearkens back to the slow burn atmospheres of classic film noir as much as David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti’s soundtracks, dark ambient and the bluest jazz, plus the doom metal of Black Sabbath, Gore, and their dusty echoes in Earth. It’s surely a velvet cloak for the senses; essentially a heavily tranquilising sound, but one fraught with an existential angst that’s won them a captive audience over the years, and is fully in effect here.

As ever, ‘Patchouli Blue’ is a strictly all instrumental affair and was recorded in Cologne and Mülheim An Der Ruhr – site of all their recordings (bar ‘Mitleid Lady’) since the seminal ‘Sunset Mission’ (2000). It was composed by core members Christoph Clöser (Tenor Saxophone) and Morten Gass (Piano, Engineer, Producer) and is performed by them along with longtime member Robin Rodenburg’s plucked, stalking bass lines in a classically sulky, gratifying way bound to make your glass of single malt taste smokier, sweeter. As such, the album is really meant to be taken in one sitting, but if we’re to point out highlights, the slow rise of slinking drum machine and creeping arps of ‘Vergessen & Vorbei’ is just masterful, as is the distant, burnished, Vangelis-like synth glow and elegiac brass of their last call, ‘Meine Welt ist schön’. Basically it’s dead good for what ail’s ya.

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Elvin Jones “Mr. Jones” (Blue Note)

2020-03-13T20:34:38+00:00February 20th, 2020|

After his six years with the seminal John Coltrane Quartet, the mighty drummer Elvin Jones signed with Blue Note Records in 1968 and made a series of 10 fantastic albums including 1972’s Mr. Jones, produced by Francis Wolff and George Butler, and featuring saxophonists Dave Liebman, Steve Grossman, and Pepper Adams, Thad Jones on flugelhorn, pianist Jan Hammer, bassist Gene Perla, and percussionists Carlos “Patato” Valdes, Frank Ippolito, and Albert Duffy. The music delves into expansive post-bop with Latin influences and includes an impassioned version of Tadd Dameron’s gorgeous ballad “Soultrane” in dedication to Coltrane.

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.

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Art Taylor “A.T.’s Delight” (Blue Note)

2020-03-13T20:34:39+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Art Taylor was one of the greatest drummers in modern jazz who propelled the bands of Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, Dexter Gordon, and many more. As a leader Taylor only recorded a handful of albums including 1960’s A.T.’s Delight, which is a delightful and inventive set of hard bop that interprets the music of Coltrane, Monk, Davis, and Kenny Dorham with a stellar band featuring trumpeter Dave Burns, tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, and Carlos “Patato” Valdes on congas.

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.

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John Carter Octet “Dauwhe” (Black Saint)

2020-03-20T19:31:25+00:00February 19th, 2020|

Black Saint present a reissue of John Carter Octet’s Dauwhe, originally released in 1982. Dawhe is the first chapter in John Carter’s Roots and Folklore saga. A five-part epic journey through the African American heritage conceived by the great clarinetist-composer and performed by a stellar line-up featuring Carter himself, Bobby Bradford (cornet), James Newton (flute), Charles Owens (soprano sax, oboe, clarinet), Red Callender (tuba), Roberto Miranda (bass), William Jeffrey (drums), and Luis Peralta (percussion). This is a highly integrated form of jazz, based on the processing of different musical forms and related topics. From the ancient African mythology through the Blues experience towards the open land of creative jazz. A strong musical and cultural statement from one of the greatest west coast modern jazz composers.

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Learn To Talk

2020-03-20T19:31:43+00:00February 19th, 2020|

ReR Vinyl present a reissue of Skeleton Crew’s Learn to Talk, originally released in 1984. A true avant-rock classic. Skeleton Crew were the maverick duo of Ex-Henry Cow guitarist Fred Frith and the great late cellist Tom Cora. Formed during one of Frith’s early American residencies, Skeleton Crew was a legendary two-man crew who somehow — in real time, managed to play all their instruments, cello, bass, electric guitar, violin, vocals — as well as, drum parts dislocated between the two of them. No one sounded like Skeleton Crew, ever. An unprecedented and tight duo coalition that produced some of the best music of the decade. Originally released in 1984, Learn to Talk consists of a highly integrated mixture of art-rock, punk energy, tape manipulation, and re-imagined folk elements. A catalog of invention that remains breathtaking today. Fully re-mastered and including a printed inner sleeve with previously unpublished text by Fred Frith in memory of Tom Cora on the 20th anniversary of his premature passing.

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John Carter Octet “Dauwhe” (Black Saint)

2020-03-13T20:34:41+00:00February 7th, 2020|

Black Saint present a reissue of John Carter Octet’s Dauwhe, originally released in 1982. Dawhe is the first chapter in John Carter’s Roots and Folklore saga. A five-part epic journey through the African American heritage conceived by the great clarinetist-composer and performed by a stellar line-up featuring Carter himself, Bobby Bradford (cornet), James Newton (flute), Charles Owens (soprano sax, oboe, clarinet), Red Callender (tuba), Roberto Miranda (bass), William Jeffrey (drums), and Luis Peralta (percussion). This is a highly integrated form of jazz, based on the processing of different musical forms and related topics. From the ancient African mythology through the Blues experience towards the open land of creative jazz. A strong musical and cultural statement from one of the greatest west coast modern jazz composers.

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Nick Walters “Active Imagination” (22a)

2020-03-13T20:34:41+00:00February 7th, 2020|

Trumpeter and composer Nick Walters returns to 22a with his second album for the label – a free and spiritual journey into avant-garde jazz!

‘Active Imagination’ is the result of the bringing together of musicians for a day in the studio, with minimal rehearsal, to collectively experiment and improvise in the moment – in contrast to the more composed and structured recordings of the Paradox Ensemble album ‘Awakening’ released on 22a back in January of this year. All musicians contributed their distinctive and individual voices, creating a united force of spiritual, free-form jazz. Each composition is based on a different mode, all with their own unique flavour:

‘So Long Chef’ is a nod to jazz legend John Coltrane, with its chords jumping by major thirds, before a more static middle section, offering a chance for Walters and Jeff Guntren (tenor sax) to explore its Lydian mode.

‘Ahimsa’ is a meditative reflection and group improvisation, based around a simple theme in the Mixolydian mode, resulting in a spiritual journey steered by Rebecca Nash’s hypnotic piano solo.

‘Gordian Knot’ was conceived as a vehicle for Ed Cawthorne (aka Tenderlonious) to cut loose on soprano sax in the Phrygian mode, which he achieves with devastating effect, backed up by Nim Sadot’s infectious bass hook and complimented by an equally striking trumpet solo from the band leader.

Finally ‘Dansoman Last Stop’ uses the Dorian mode to channel the spirit of a bustling travel interchange in southern Accra, Ghana. Inspired by Walters journey through West Africa several years ago it features another exquisite trumpet solo from the leading man.

This one off session perfectly captures the essence of Walters’ experiences and influences in life. In his first album, ‘Awakening,’ and with this new record, you can hear this is a man at the top of his game, inspired by his life experiences. His playing with West African fusion bands and travelling the world can be felt in each of
these compositions. He is arguably one of the most sought after and respected musicians in the UK Jazz scene, ‘Active Imagination’ will further enhance those claims!

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Skeleton Crew “Learn To Talk” (Red Vinyl)

2020-03-13T20:34:41+00:00February 7th, 2020|

ReR Vinyl present a reissue of Skeleton Crew’s Learn to Talk, originally released in 1984. A true avant-rock classic. Skeleton Crew were the maverick duo of Ex-Henry Cow guitarist Fred Frith and the great late cellist Tom Cora. Formed during one of Frith’s early American residencies, Skeleton Crew was a legendary two-man crew who somehow — in real time, managed to play all their instruments, cello, bass, electric guitar, violin, vocals — as well as, drum parts dislocated between the two of them. No one sounded like Skeleton Crew, ever. An unprecedented and tight duo coalition that produced some of the best music of the decade. Originally released in 1984, Learn to Talk consists of a highly integrated mixture of art-rock, punk energy, tape manipulation, and re-imagined folk elements. A catalog of invention that remains breathtaking today. Fully re-mastered and including a printed inner sleeve with previously unpublished text by Fred Frith in memory of Tom Cora on the 20th anniversary of his premature passing.

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Juju “Live At The East 1973” (Now-Again)

2020-03-13T20:34:41+00:00February 7th, 2020|

“Now-Again Records presents limited edition deluxe reissues of the lauded black fire catalog in 2020. First up in the series, this previously unreleased live session recorded at the legendary Brooklyn venue The East in 1973. Magical, mystical, Afrocentric, progressive — words that could be used to describe any number of musical compositions by Sun Ra or his cosmic brothers and sisters, from John to Alice Coltrane, early ’70s projects on record labels like Detroit’s Tribe or Houston’s Lightin’ or the interests of one Washington, DC native named Jimmy Gray that centered under one, perfect moniker: Black Fire. Gray spent nearly three decades pushing boundaries as a Black American promoter, distributor and, finally, record label owner. Together with Juju’s leader James ‘Plunky Nkabinde’ Branch, Gray oversaw sixteen releases on Black Fire Records between 1975 and 1996. These are the definitive reissues of five of the label’s key titles; all were lacquered — most directly from master tape — by legendary Los Angeles mastering engineer Bernie Grundman. With this set, Juju and Black Fire’s story burns forth into its fifth decade, its message not tempered, its sound pure. It’s cycle, once again, complete. Each release is packaged in a thick, tip-on sleeve and includes a deluxe booklet with extensive notes on the album, the Black Fire collective, and the musical and cultural revolution they created. Limited edition, one time pressing.”

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Joe Armon-Jones ‎”Turn To Clear View” (Brownswood)

2020-03-13T20:34:42+00:00February 7th, 2020|

The wildly-talented keys player returns with a luminous jazz-funk masterstroke. Tipping a hat to Herbie Hancock and Mad Scientist alike!

Bass-heavy dub and contemporary club culture are the foundations for Joe Armon-Jones’ phenomenal second album. Turn to Clear View builds on the celebrated keys player’s singular vision, exhibiting a sound with flourishes of R&B, hip-hop and p-funk, and featuring regular bandmates Oscar Jerome, Moses Boyd and Nubya Garcia. He builds on his close-knit core personnel with guest spots from artists he’s long admired, including Georgia Anne Muldrow (Brainfeeder, Stones Throw), Obongjayar (XL) and Jehst.

From character-fuelled raps to Afrobeat-influenced jams, Armon-Jones channels the diversity of the ascendant scene that surrounds him. Co-produced with longtime collaborator Maxwell Owin, the record has a carefully plotted feel that reflects their meticulous approach. The duo carefully perfected every touch, with Armon-Jones ever-present throughout the mixing and mastering processes.

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Gil Scott-Heron “We’re New Again (A Re-Imagining By Makaya McCraven)” (XL)

2020-03-13T20:34:42+00:00February 7th, 2020|

To mark the tenth anniversary of the release of I’m New Here, the thirteenth – and last – studio album from the legendary US musician, poet and author Gil Scott-Heron, XL Recordings will release a unique reinterpretation of the album by acclaimed US jazz musician Makaya McCraven. Titled We’re New Again, the album will be released on 7th February 2020; exactly a decade after the release of Scott-Heron’s original Richard Russell-produced recording. It’s set to follow in the footsteps of Jamie xx’s highly acclaimed 2011 remix album We’re New Here and will be McCraven’s first release of 2020, following the huge global acclaim heaped upon his 2018 album Universal Beings. One of the most vital new voices in modern jazz, McCraven is described by the New York Times as a “Chicago-based drummer, producer and beat maker, [who] has quietly become one of the best arguments for jazz’s vitality”

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