Albums

Contemporary Jazz - Released December 14, 2018 | Steinway and Sons

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Jazz - Released July 13, 2018 | Craft Recordings

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Jazz - Released June 29, 2018 | Impulse!

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Reissue - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz - 5 étoiles de Classica
“It’s like finding a new room in the Great Pyramid.” Saxophonist Sonny Rollins didn’t weigh his words to describe this previously unreleased session recorded by John Coltrane in March 1963 and released for the first time in June 2018. When it comes to original content, so-called gems and other rarities, labels are masters at scraping the bottom of the barrel and pumping up the cash register with anecdotal, at times completely useless content. In this case however, it’s a completely different story. Although the posthumous discography of John Coltrane, who passed away in July 1967, is already massive, this Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album is turning out to be a prime addition! The most tender of all tenderloins! The ultimate treat! The only negative would be this Lost Album appellation, as no document proves that Trane, or even his producer Bob Thiele, had in any way considered to turn this impeccable session into a proper album… The scene takes place in March 1963. Four days before the saxophonist, surrounded by his legendary Praetorian guard – pianist McCoy Tyner, drummer Elvin Jones, bass player Jimmy Garrison – recorded an essential album with singer Johnny Hartman. In the afternoon of Wednesday 6th, the quartet dropped by Rudy Van Gelder’s famous studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Just a few hours before going back to Manhattan to perform on stage at the Birdland. The tapes of this session have been retrieved by the family of Naima, Coltrane’s first wife. Fourteen tracks are playable. Fourteen, including two original songs, Untitled Original 11386 and Untitled Original 11383, on which Garrison performs a double bass solo! This marvel is available in a simple edition (seven tracks selected by John’s son, Ravi Coltrane) or Deluxe (all fourteen tracks!). The bond between the four men jumps out like rarely before. Coltrane alternates between deep sequences that foreshadow incoming wild swerves (Untitled Original 11386 and his legendary Impressions), and lyrical moments (the classic Nature Boy). Notes flood down, combining perfectly with McCoy Tyner’s percussive style… Although Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album doesn’t provide any new information on Coltrane’s quartet, it is still a completely indispensable archive, both for its musical and sound quality. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released June 29, 2018 | Impulse!

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - 5 étoiles de Classica
“It’s like finding a new room in the Great Pyramid.” Saxophonist Sonny Rollins didn’t weigh his words to describe this previously unreleased session recorded by John Coltrane in March 1963 and released for the first time in June 2018. When it comes to original content, so-called gems and other rarities, labels are masters at scraping the bottom of the barrel and pumping up the cash register with anecdotal, at times completely useless content. In this case however, it’s a completely different story. Although the posthumous discography of John Coltrane, who passed away in July 1967, is already massive, this Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album is turning out to be a prime addition! The most tender of all tenderloins! The ultimate treat! The only negative would be this Lost Album appellation, as no document proves that Trane, or even his producer Bob Thiele, had in any way considered to turn this impeccable session into a proper album… The scene takes place in March 1963. Four days before the saxophonist, surrounded by his legendary Praetorian guard – pianist McCoy Tyner, drummer Elvin Jones, bass player Jimmy Garrison – recorded an essential album with singer Johnny Hartman. In the afternoon of Wednesday 6th, the quartet dropped by Rudy Van Gelder’s famous studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Just a few hours before going back to Manhattan to perform on stage at the Birdland. The tapes of this session have been retrieved by the family of Naima, Coltrane’s first wife. Fourteen tracks are playable. Fourteen, including two original songs, Untitled Original 11386 and Untitled Original 11383, on which Garrison performs a double bass solo! This marvel is available in a simple edition (seven tracks selected by John’s son, Ravi Coltrane) or Deluxe (all fourteen tracks!). The bond between the four men jumps out like rarely before. Coltrane alternates between deep sequences that foreshadow incoming wild swerves (Untitled Original 11386 and his legendary Impressions), and lyrical moments (the classic Nature Boy). Notes flood down, combining perfectly with McCoy Tyner’s percussive style… Although Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album doesn’t provide any new information on Coltrane’s quartet, it is still a completely indispensable archive, both for its musical and sound quality. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz

Contemporary Jazz - Released March 16, 2018 | Steinway and Sons

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Jazz - Released January 27, 2017 | Contemporary

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Jazzwise Five-star review
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Jazz - Released December 15, 2017 | Prestige

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It’s surprising to hear that since the dawn of the ‘50s, Thelonious Monk already wasn’t a pianist like the others. Or even a musician like the others… With The Complete Prestige 10-Inch LP Collection, we find five 10-Inches made for the label Prestige which have been reunited, restored and remastered from original tapes by Joe Tarantino: Thelonious Monk Trio: Thelonious (1952), Thelonious Monk Quintet Blows For LP, Featuring Sonny Rollins (1953), Thelonious Monk Quintet (1954), Thelonious Monk Plays (1954) and Sonny Rollins and Thelonious Monk (1954). Artistically, Monk was already in his honeymoon period even though this perhaps wasn’t the most joyous time in the musician’s life. The law had confiscated his professional card, forbidding him from playing in clubs in New York. But the contract that Bob Weinstock made him sign with Prestige allowed him to shine during this time in the recording studios. So here we find a musician who’s hungrier than ever before. He’s adventurous too. Not to mention being ahead of the jazz of his time. Already, on a few recordings for Blue Note carried out between the end of the 40s and 1952, Monk went down jazz paths less trodden without ever straying off the route. Here, the whole affair is even more striking. Most of all in the pieces where he is joined by another genius, Sonny Rollins, who also devoted himself to shaking up the rules of a thriving musical genre that was at its most intense and revolutionising age. © MD/Qobuz
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Vocal Jazz - Released December 1, 2017 | Verve Reissues

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True fans of Ella Fitzgerald must be having a hard time trying to find storage space for the live albums of their idol, since there are so many of them. And yet, this one, completely new, is rather special as it proposes a concert offered in Hollywood’s Zardi’s Jazzland on 2nd February, 1956 - a few days before she recorded her first disc for Verve. Originally recorded by Norman Granz to celebrate this signature on his label, these two sets will in the end remain in the archives to the detriment of Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Cole Porter Song Book, a studio disc that would launch her series of albums devoted to the songbooks of the great American authors… In this year 1956, Ella Fitzgerald is almost 40 already and is far from being unknown. But her transition from Decca to Verve would finally propel her into a completely new level of fame. We hear her here full of exuberance, joy and energy. Her voice is astoundingly fluid, and her sense of rhythm is difficult to surpass. And even when she forgets part of the text, the great entertainer that she is takes over and the adoration from the audience doesn’t waiver one bit. As for her repertoire, she makes the masterpieces her own, penned by Duke Ellington (In A Mellow Tone), Cole Porter (My Heart Belongs To Daddy), Jerome Kern (A Fine Romance) and the Gershwin brothers (S'Wonderful, I've Got a Crush On You). As for the disciples to this voice, we find the pianist Don Abney, bass player Vernon Alley and drummer Frank Capp - all impeccable bodyguards, even if later, musicians of a completely different level will assist the singer. It’s very touching to hear, in the first seconds of the disc, Norman Granz tell the Californian audience: “For me she’s the greatest there is: Miss Ella Fitzgerald!” © MZ/Qobuz

Contemporary Jazz - Released November 17, 2017 | Songlines Recordings

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Jazz - Released July 8, 1961 | Verve Reissues

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1969 | Prestige

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Jazz - Released November 3, 2017 | Concord Records, Inc. (UMG Account)

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Gospel - Released January 1, 1972 | Stax

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The Sons of Truth put out this album on Stax's subsidiary Gospel Truth in 1972, but it remains rare to the point of being nearly unknown, despite its affiliation with one of soul's most prominent labels. As Dean Rudland's historical liner notes to the 2010 CD reissue on Beat Goes Public rightly observe, it was an "album filled with funk and soul with a gospel edge, rather than the other way around." But while musically this is for the most part a funk-soul hybrid, lyrically it's very much in the religious gospel stream, as titles such as "God Help Us All," "With Jesus You're Free," "Call on Him," "He's All We Need," and "God Bless the Children" make clear. The title of the album, as well as the cover showing a very hip-looking bunch of dudes in a dilapidated inner city environment, might lead you to expect something a little more political than what the album actually delivers. It's still an interesting blend of gospel with the steamy funk that was fast becoming a big soul trend in the early '70s, especially in the opening cut, "Son of the Deacon," a slow groover powered by a smoky fuzz guitar riff and smoldering female backup vocals. Nothing else on the album matches it, alas, but this has far more appeal to secular soul and rock fans than most gospel records that strive to incorporate contemporary sounds. The rabble-rousing "I Feel Good" has some cooking wah-wah guitar, and "The Ghetto" does come up with some of the observations of ghetto life reflected by the packaging. Elsewhere, the group get into some more traditional smooth male vocal harmonizing and material akin to soul ballads, though even so, the fuzzy and distorted guitar lines let you know these guys were listening to plenty of sounds cooking in rock and soul music outside of the mainstream gospel world. ~ Richie Unterberger
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1958 | Concord Records, Inc. (UMG Account)

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Contemporary Jazz - Released October 20, 2017 | Steinway and Sons

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The U.S. Steinway & Sons label has made a strong impact with albums by performers who evoke the concert atmosphere of a hundred years ago: the era, as it happens, when the Steinway piano was supreme. British pianist Simon Mulligan does this, but not with quite the same classical repertoire as other pianists on the label. Mulligan has played both classical music and jazz, but here he offers a kind of salon music that has improvised elements, but for the most part is not jazz. (The exception is the upbeat I'll Be Home for Christmas.) The music consists entirely of Christmas or holiday-season tunes, but even such a chestnut as Winter Wonderland is fresh, a bit meditative in Mulligan's hands. Steinway's engineers have made great strides forward in showcasing their home hall at its best, and the mood struck by the sound design here is deep. For a classy soundtrack to your Christmas gathering you couldn't do better than this, but there's more to Mulligan's album than simply background music. ~ James Manheim
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Jazz - Released October 13, 2017 | Riverside

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On The Wes Montgomery Trio – A Dynamic New Sound: Guitar Organ Drums, his third album which appeared on Riverside Records in 1959, Wes Montgomery confirmed that it was he who caused the earth to tremble with his jazz guitar. And this superb disc cements his name just that bit more in amongst those of the greats. He is joined by Melvin Rhyne on the organ and Paul Parker on the drums adding a simple accompaniment, without ever treading on his toes nor attracting too much attention. Because of course, the hero of these sessions produced on 5th and 6th October 1959, at Reeves Sound Studios in New York, by Orin Keepnews, will always be Wes Montgomery and no one but Wes Montgomery! His style, virtuosic and soaked with the blues, brought a fresh sound to this instrument that was previously dominated by Barney Kessel and Tal Farlow. And in his solos such as ‘Round Midnight, the guitarist from Indianapolis slickly unfurls his refined sound, his unique style and his enchanting phrasing. A few months later, with The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery, still with Riverside Records, the affair would take on a whole new look thanks to Tommy Flanagan, Percy Heath and Albert "Tootie" Heath, sidemen of a higher calibre… © MD/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released October 6, 2017 | Concord Records, Inc. (UMG Account)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1974 | Concord Records, Inc. (UMG Account)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Reissue
Right between post bop and hard bop, Joe Henderson made a name for himself in the 1960s with five brilliant albums as the leader for Blue Note Records. Like a lot of his peers at the end of that decade, the saxophonist wanted to shake up the genre’s rules and dabble in a certain form of avant-garde. Recorded in October 1973 in Los Angeles and released by Milestone Records the following year, The Elements is one of the fruits of this pursuit of elsewhere jazz. As its title suggests the album is divided in four parts, logically called Fire, Air, Water and Earth, in which Henserson embarked on improvisation segments with renowned adventurers, such as Alice Coltrane on piano and harp, violinist Michael White, bass player Charlie Haden, drummer Leon “Ndugu” Chancler and percussionists Kenneth Nash and Baba Duru Oshun. Overall a gang of sound hunters more inspired than ever, who dare to lose themselves in latino and Indians sounds. This libertarian multi-layered jazz and world music, like countless others at that time, was more than anything else the product of extremely focused and engaged musicians, attentively listening to each other. It’s that engagement that placed these Elements way above the fray… © MZ/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1971 | Concord Records, Inc. (UMG Account)

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Jazz - Released May 5, 2017 | Concord Records, Inc. (UMG Account)

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