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Anablog Roundup - July 2020 Round 1

Anablog Roundup - July 2020 Round 1

This coming week is going to fly by faster than the entirety of Circuit Breaker — we are, after all, knee-deep in the General Elections and we’re only days away from voting.

I’m not going to be parroting voting issues here — that’s not what you’re here for — but the information overload is certainly an effect of this pivotal period, and there’s nothing better than stepping away from your laptop and diving into your record collection for a good minute.

This week, Nick and Leon have rounded up crates of records that shine in jazz excellence, unsurprisingly, and there’s a healthy mix of current releases and reissues to dig into to get the blood flowing (if you’re not already watching Hammer Time wink wink).

Let’s get it.

Sachiko Kanenobu – Misora | Light In The Attic

The resurgence of Sachiko Kanenobu is one of the more heartening consequences of our YouTube crate-digger age — unearthed obscure treasures, forgotten over the decades, uploaded for online consumption. Cue “where has this music been all my life” comments from gobsmacked YouTube users.

The Japanese musician released Misora in 1972, amidst a wave of poetic singer-songwriters discovering their voice in a post-war society rebuilding itself (the compilation Even A Tree Can Shed Tears is the perfect gateway into that scene). Misora remained her only full-length effort, recorded with the creative assistance of peers Haruomi Hosono and Eiichi Ohtaki, but it had only flourished in appreciation within secretive circles of music nerds outside of Japan. While it has been reissued in limited quantities over the years, it’s gotten its proper due with Light in the Attic.

Now that Kanenobu has enjoyed a renewed path in her career, performing select shows around the world and attaining a young, newer audience, now’s a good a time as any to delve into the earthy magic of Misora, a gentle and sweeping album so captivating at any time of day. This LITA reissue comes prepared with an extensive interview with her. 

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Shirley Scott – One For Me | Arc Records

 

Jazz organ is remarkably enjoyable, but with its historic association with the marketable genre tag known as “easy listening”, it’s also a bit of a challenge to find the musicians who creatively pushed jazz forward with the instrument. We already covered the inimitable Dr. Lonnie Smith in the previous roundup, but Gilles Peterson’s Arc Records has made the search much easier with this new reissue.

A labor of love from “Queen of the organ” Shirley Scott, a prolific and highly versatile jazz musician and composer, One For Me glides along smoothly — even as the performances recorded herein come across less like rehearsed parts and more like collaborative explorations. Scott uses the organ and mellotron with a deft textural touch, allowing saxophonist Harold Vick to occupy the space with terrific immediacy. This is undoubtedly Scott’s album, with maximized creative control on a recording fully self-funded, after years of working on projects subjugated by stuffy (and sexist) record executives. Let her words speak for themselves:

“All of the music recorded in this album is both personal and very purposeful to me because it is the first step toward honesty about what and how I want to play. I’ve done a lot of other albums, a lot of different ways for a lot of different people and now, with the help of the Creator, in whom all things are possible, I have done one for me too.”

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Sault – 5 / 7 | Forever Living Originals

Sault remains a mystery — all we know about them is they reside in the UK and are led by artist Dean “Inflo” Josiah — but when the music’s this gripping, the allure is merely a bonus.

5 and 7 are two albums the group dropped in succession last year, a collection of immensely spirited funk tunes that feel transported straight out of the 1970s, with an urgency that’s eternally relevant. The group’s newest album, Untitled (Black Is), was only just released and it’s an essential listen for these times.

While that title might take a while to be issued on wax, 5 and 7 are albums you should immerse yourself with while there’s still time — they’re only going to get bigger, so now’s the perfect chance to get a headstart.

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Kaytranada – Bubba | RCA

No other album quite personified the freewheeling energy of 2016 (well most of it) like 99.9%, the infectious debut of producer Kaytranada. The only producer bold enough then to harness the power of Craig David, Anderson .Paak and BADBADNOTGOOD on a Gal Costa-sampling dance album — seriously, what a visionary — this album still slaps, but Bubba arrives in 2020 a different beast.

The focus remains on the dancefloor, but the techniques Kaytranada employs are different. Gone are the days of being a solitary producer hunched over his laptop — Bubba is a piece of work birthed from a fully-fledged studio, and the tracks are the result of extensive in-person collaborations (the list includes Kali Uchis, Masego, Mick Jenkins, Charlotte Day Wilson, amongst others).

It’s a dense R&B and afrobeat-inflected album to groove to, and it works equally as an enveloping listening experience and a perfect mood-setter for any ordinary work task.

 

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Jeff Parker – Suit For Max Brown | Intl Anthem

While International Anthem hosts a vast array of exciting young artists, many of whom reside in Chicago, a name like Jeff Parker sticks out not just for his veteran status but for his immense contribution to the city’s flourishing underground music scene.

A member of pivotal post-rock group Tortoise, Parker has also contributed to the experimental sounds of Chicago — notably with label Thrill Jockey Records — and with his new home, he’s advanced his own musical language. It doesn’t get any better than Suite for Max Brown, where he effortlessly bridges the sounds of older jazz and funk with avant-garde digital techniques he’s amassed over his career. The final product is a constant conversation between what he dubs as “man vs machine”, with live improvisations backed by intuitive drum loops.

For an album personally dedicated to his mother, it’s expectedly tender and heartfelt, and unexpectedly short: the 39 minutes will be over before you know it. Buy it on vinyl and cherish every minute it’s on your turntable.

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Ed Longo & Applied Arts Ensemble – The Other Fantasy | Early Sounds Recordings

The mention of the musicians involved might suggest a heady or complex experience listening to The Other Fantasy, but that is far from the real thing.

A recent phenomenon that you can find online are musicians inspired by Weather Channel music — essentially, the smoothest jazz music you can conjure, inflected by celestial synths, and a pressing need to relax. It’s corporate mood music of the highest order, and this space is explored by a collective of seasoned jazz musicians in The Other Fantasy.

There’s lots of slap bass and flute magic to dig into here — but the centrepiece on this EP is ‘A Palm in the Closet’, which dares you to manifest the island breeze in your bedroom, even if it faces a multi-storey carpark.

 

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The Koreatown Oddity – A Beat At The Table | Strictly Cassette

Yes, you’re not seeing things — that album title looks familiar, but it’s not the only thing this project shares with A Seat at the Table, the 2016 opus by Solange.

The Koreatown Oddity is an MC, producer, and a familiar face in the indie rap scene of Los Angeles. He’s notably made contact with the larger hip-hop community on his latest effort Little Dominiques Nosebleed, a raw and focused documentation on life in his neighborhood. 

This little curio, however, was initially issued on cassette to small and captive fanfare in 2018. It’s a distillation of the impact Solange’s masterwork had on him — reworking snippets of the album into a brisk 19-minute beat tape. Now pressed on fancy coke bottle clear vinyl, The Koreatown Oddity unearths new magic from an album already teeming with boundless depths.

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Angel Bat Dawid – The Oracle | Intl Anthem

We treat the experience of listening to music as something restorative, but Angel Bat Dawid believes it’s even greater. “The Egyptians used the power of sound to move objects. I believe that sound technology can move things. Sound is more powerful than we can imagine,” she speaks in a conversation with writer Emma Warren you must read.

It’s hard not to get engulfed by the world she meticulously crafts here, and the effect of listening to The Oracle feels like intruding into a spiritually-powered improvised jam session. The disbelief will set in once you read that Bat Dawid recorded every instrument on this album, save for a drum track on ‘Cape Town’. Bat Dawid masterfully uses catharsis as a foundation, and The Oracle ends up an intense and unfettered meditation on Black identity.

International Anthem’s discography is an extraordinary deep dive into modern jazz and improvised music — The Analog Vault’s got a few others stocked too — and the heights The Oracle achieves tower like a cathedral all on their own. Do not miss!!

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THE END

Anablog Roundup - June 2020

Anablog Roundup - June 2020

The good people at The Analog Vault — the breezy selectors with the most immaculate tastes in town, Leon and Nick — have already got you covered over social media with their new arrivals.

Every few weeks, there’s always a new shipment of wax goodies to be discovered, and it’s no surprise that the choices cover so many bases that sorting through them all might be a tad overwhelming for some of you.

With this assumption, this is where I’ll be coming in, shining a light on just a handful of the stellar picks that the TAV team has brought in. If your post-CB budget is tight — whose isn’t, really? — this is exactly the place to be. (plus the store’s extended their 15% discount if that helps)

Ghostpoet – I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep | Play It Again Sam

It only feels like yesterday when a certain 27-year-old who went by the enigmatic name of Ghostpoet shook the UK with Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy, an unwieldy title for an album brimming with brisk and captivating wordplay, courtesy of Ghostpoet’s spoken word-style delivery.

Even till today, Ghostpoet refuses to go by genre — he once defiantly called it a “marketing tool”, and frankly he’s got a point there — but he’s been steadfast in waxing lyrical about despair and malaise in everyday life that rarely feels tiring.

While his early work is rooted in a charming late-night combination of fluctuating hi-hats and aquatic synths, with a persistent low-end punctuating each line of wisdom, his latest album I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep is driven entirely by the analog, with angular post-punk guitar work that has added a new dimension to his body of work.

Recommended if you like: King Krule, later-day Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Sleaford Mods, Radiohead (especially if you love In Rainbows)

Altin Gun – Gece

A country with a rich and deep trove of psych-rock treasures like Turkey has got record collectors and musicians worldwide entranced. Altin Gun has taken their niche interest into overdrive. They’re a beacon for a new breed of Anatolian rock, where dusty psych-rock collides with traditional Turkish folk music (if you want to dig further, archival label Finders Keepers is a good start to explore some of the genre’s high points).

Based in the Netherlands, Altin Gun places the spotlight back on Turkey’s folk songbook, with expressive new arrangements of songs frequently overlooked outside of the country’s borders. Gece is their second album, and the band draws upon an even more expansive palette of sounds: the percussive magic of ‘Leyla’ resembles most closely to the hypnotic grit that first inspired the band, but album closer ‘Süpürgesi Yoncadan’ is a propulsive and playful synth-pop ditty.

The only thing that unites these disparate sounds are their burning compatibility for the dance floor — while you’re still stuck in your bedroom, you might as well fashion one just for this album anyway.

RIYL: Selda, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Goat, Kikagaku Moyo

Greentea Peng – Rising | Different Recordings

 

Nope, it’s not Ice Green Tea (this joke must be tired by now so allow us to make it for the very last time, we promise), but Greentea Peng’s status has been brewing in the British R&B underground for a while now.

Since 2019, the name has been synonymous with a moody, playlist-friendly form of the genre, one that’s been given a robust platform through video series Colors (Greentea Peng’s appearance has raked over 5 million views alone).

Listening to the aptly-named Rising, it’s really not hard to see why: Greentea is remarkably skillful in allowing her voice to drift cooly overproduction that never overpowers her. Even as countless R&B singers attempt to project a detached presence to their work, Greentea never falters in making her intimate words sound impassioned. This long-awaited pressing on translucent green vinyl has only been out for a few months, but it’s unlikely to last on the shelves for long.

RIYL: ELIZA, Raveena, Kali Uchis, Jorja Smith

 

Against All Logic – illusions of Shameless Abundance / Alucianao

It’s no surprise that with 2017-2019 (also available in-store), Against All Logic has excelled once again. Beginning as an outlet for Nicolas Jaar’s scattered rhythmic blueprints, inspired by the bygone days of Chicago house and disco, the project is now an engaging facet of his ever-growing discography.

But unlike the nostalgic sounds of his first album, the AAL of 2020 is a much tougher beast, and this 12” single is the perfect launchpad into his harsh vision of the dancefloor. Featuring two original tracks, not included in the 3LP album, Jaar flexes his array of distorted, militant synth pads with the help of music iconoclasts Lydia Lunch and FKA Twigs, along with mysterious contributor Estado Unido.

Pressed on a generous 45rpm spread, this single alone will give your speakers a proper workout.

RIYL: Helena Hauff, Tzusing, VTSS, Skee Mask

Masumi Hara – 4 X A Dream | Numero Group

Over the past three years alone, independent labels all over the world have been generous in excavating master tapes of old Japanese albums for new reissues that rival $100+ original pressings.

This ongoing campaign has only revealed a sliver of the creative spark that thrived in the country from the 1970s to the present. The genre of “city pop” alone, first discovered by YouTube sleuths and vaporwave producers, has engaged an entirely new (and wholly international) generation of listeners, which we’ll get to in a bit. Meanwhile, artists instilling their own revolutionary takes on jazz, ambient, folk and new wave have been dutifully celebrated, but an artist like Masumi Hara stands as a unique example crossing these already-malleable boundaries.

4 X A Dream is a heady combination of chunky dub basslines, icy synths, ghostly tribal percussions and a commanding performance by the multi-media artist. It’s unlike anything you’ve heard, really, but Hara manages to be playful enough for these songs to be enchanting upon first listen. This masterfully-crafted reissue by Numero Group is the perfect gateway into his work.

RIYL: Yasuaki Shimizu, Nightclubbing-era Grace Jones, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Talking Heads. 

 

Coastlines – Coastlines | Flower Records

With the tumultuous events of now, it’s imperative to plug out once in a while for your mental health. You’ll need a proper soundtrack for these fleeting periods, and it has arrived in this intoxicating 2LP package.

A collaboration between two esteemed Japanese musicians, producer Masanori Ikeda and keyboard player Takumi Kaneko, this self-titled effort is immediately evocative of 80s jazz-fusion — behaving like a distant counterpart of the breezy Pacific — but with a pronounced sensibility for modern house and Balearic sounds, complete with steel pans and lightweight piano chords. Simply put, if Pacific was made for fancy yachts, Coastlines is primed for the beach clubs.

This is an album best experienced cranked up with the window open and a tropical cocktail on hand. Trust us when we say this album has the power to gently nudge off the weight of the world, even if it’s just for an hour.

RIYL: Seaside Lovers, Hiroshi Sato, Azymuth, the albums Pacific and The Aegean Sea.

 

VA – Pacific Breeze 2 | Light In The Attic

Japan going three-for-three on this list, unsurprisingly. And it is with Light In The Attic, whose ongoing Japan Archival Series have led the way in unearthing Japan’s heritage of eclectic and groundbreaking music.

The first Pacific Breeze compilation compiled treasures across the city pop spectrum — from infectious boogie tunes to offbeat studio experiments — and Pacific Breeze 2 is evidence that one release was simply not enough to capture its range. True enough, this edition tells a story of its own, beginning with artists like Bread & Butter and Eiichi Ohtaki — both rooted in the summery folk-pop sounds of the Laurel Canyon — who helped lay the foundations for the nebulous genre.

Across the board, there’s plenty to dig into. While city pop favorites like Anri, Kikuchi Momoko, Piper, and Junko Ohashi are present, the tracklist offer delights from Sadistics (who emerged from the ashes of Sadistic Mika Band, one of the country’s biggest glam rock outfits) and Mystery Kindaichi Band (a terrific one-off disco/funk project with little in the way of backstory), amongst other iconoclasts.

RIYL: If the first Pacific Breeze was your thing, this is simply unmissable.

 

Moses Sumney – Grae | Jagjaguwar

 

A distinct and unwavering vision is the calling card for Moses Sumney, whose debut Aromanticism found an immediate audience in 2017.

Grae is something else, a two-part project of unfiltered ambition — the old saying goes that artists have their entire lives to prepare for their first album, and 2-3 years for their second. Sumney evidently made every waking minute of those years count to pour his heart and soul into this. The list of collaborators is breathtaking too: James Blake, Jill Scott, Daniel Lopatin, Shabaka Hutchings, Thundercat, Nubya Garcia, FKJ, Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart — and that’s barely covering the whole lot of talent here.

The album is full of broad strokes of musical delights, with a distinct art rock sound that shapeshifts with inflections of strings, flutes, synths, and even organs. If you caught Sumney at Laneway 2018 and saw a glimpse of his potential, trust us when we say it’s beautifully realized here.

RIYL: Sufjan Stevens, Janelle Monae, Solange, James Blake

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Blue Note’s Tone Poet series: how the label is telling a different story with new vinyl reissues

Blue Note’s Tone Poet series: how the label is telling a different story with new vinyl reissues

To explore the long and illustrious body of work that is Blue Note’s is to learn the history of jazz.

One would easily venture for the classics: you could already start and indulge in John Coltrane’s career-defining Blue Train, a masterpiece of hard bop as they come. Or you could expand your horizons with Eric Dolphy’s revolutionary Out to Lunch!, which nudged the label into the fringes of the avant-garde jazz world.

Or, if you’re recovering from a long day, you could sink into the tranquil and adventurous Maiden Voyage, which allowed a 25-year-old Herbie Hancock to establish his name outside of his work in Miles Davis’ “second great quintet” of the 1960s. And those barely skim the surface of the label’s most celebrated oeuvre.

But as Blue Note recently commemorated 80 years as a record label, the libations were preceded by a deep pondering over their output. Don Was, president of Blue Note Records since 2012, was tasked with recalibrating the label’s focus after years of releases that veered toward adult contemporary pop — album releases by Norah Jones, Priscilla Ahn and The Bird and the Bee, while distant from the world of jazz, were commercial hits for them.

All the while, classic titles have been dutifully kept in print with digital remasters, replete with enticing bonus tracks, and premium vinyl releases that appealed to the die-hard audiophiles, produced with the help of boutique label Music Matters.

Was, an established musician in his own right, took his newly-minted post with zeal by signing newer artists. Amongst the names he’s secured and nurtured are Robert Glasper (he once described Glasper’s 2012 genre-bending odyssey Black Radio as “everything I want to do at Blue Note”, Jose James and Ambrose Akinmusire, and the label’s taken on recent efforts by younger talents like Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes, Agnes Obel and GoGo Penguin too.

He was also eager to place a spotlight on the label’s lesser-known works, and it is with the Tone Poet series that that latter vision is fulfilled, 180g vinyl and tipped-on Stoughton jackets included. At a glance, the Tone Poet series might appear as yet another vinyl reissue series marketed by a legacy label — and, sure, it is — but the inner workings behind each title make this series a remarkable standout for any jazz lover and curious music collector.

It’s also important to note that with the Tone Poet project, Blue Note was not able to achieve this alone. Enter Joe Harley.

Harley was previously an ally in their vinyl reissue campaign as producer at Music Matters. The label has made it a practice to source original master tapes for any title, cutting brand new vinyl through a strict all-analog method. Those buzzwords are enough to light a fire in any 50-year-old vinyl purist, and Was has repeatedly proclaimed that the label had “cracked the Blue Note code”.

With the Tone Poet series, Harley and his crew — which includes prolific mastering engineer Kevin Gray — brought over their analog rituals from Music Matters, as instructed by Was. “[He] asked about every aspect of production, from the mastering, to the plating, pressing and jackets,” Harley writes in an essay.

“He literally said, “however you do it for Music Matters, that’s how we want to do it here. And I want you to help us achieve that.” How could I say no???” 

The process of returning to the original master tapes — a meticulous and time-consuming process embraced by the likes of Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs and Analogue Productions — is usually achieved in hopes to replicate the listening experience offered by original pressings, many of which are now scarce and continually in-demand by collectors. For Blue Note, however, they have had to make adjustments for the modern age.

As Harley explains in this video, Rudy Van Gelder, iconic Blue Note engineer, had made technical concessions for listeners in the 1950s/1960s when cutting their records, keeping in mind that most of them played their precious Blue Notes on consumer-grade turntables (ie. ones with tonearms closer to the build and quality of Crosleys than Pro-Jects).

“He would roll the low-end and bump at 90 or 100 [Hz],” Harley elaborates. “So you hear some bass…but the kind of stuff that would get a stylus in trouble and make a record skip? He would roll off.”

Now, with unfettered access to the Blue Note vaults complete with engineering notes by Van Gelder, Harley is able to take full advantage of the frequency range that a studio master tape can provide. Theoretically, these titles are then able to offer audio characteristics deemed more accurate when compared to the original pressings (unless you’re aching for the signature RVG “sound”, in which case, happy spending $200+). The reviews have spoken, and they’re glowing.

The gatefold jackets printed for each title come with extensive liner notes and restored photos, issued to perfection by Stoughton Printing, recreating the tip-on look of the classic Blue Note sleeve.  While the production process remains the same, what distinguishes the Tone Poet project from anything Harley has done at Music Matters is curation.

With input from Was, the titles selected are considered lesser-known and under-appreciated within the grander scope of Blue Note’s story. So while you may not be able to find a souped-up edition of Maiden Voyage in this series, you can explore Hancock’s The Prisoner, a mournful, socially-conscious effort that the musician deems “closer to the real me… than on any other previous one.”

The bulk of Music Matters’ work with Blue Note has consisted of mostly hard bop classics, but with Tone Poet, the wider breadth of styles and sounds that Blue Note has offered over the decades is slowly being unearthed. Fortunately, the ongoing campaign began in early 2019, with over 20 titles now available. Here are some of our picks to get you started. 

Dr. Lonnie Smith - All In My Mind

The work of Dr. Lonnie Smith, first heralded by his 1969 Blue Note debut Think!, is testament to an imaginative fusion of soul, funk and jazz. All In My Mind is a celebration of his work, recorded live in 2017 at his 75th birthday celebration.

While this Tone Poet edition is a streamlined version of the digital release, it cherrypicks the most intriguing performances of that night. Dr. Smith has made his name with funky reworks that tackled songs like Hugh Masekela’s ‘Son of Ice Bag’ and Carole King’s ‘I Feel the Earth Move’, and this set was marked by spirited renditions of compositions by Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard and Paul Simon.

With each track averaging at 8-9 mins, this is a live album to delve into — the vitality of Dr. Smith captured herein, at age 75, will blow you away.

Andrew Hill - Black Fire

 

An important chapter in the advent of post-bop in the early 1960s, Black Fire was the sophomore effort by a 32-year-old Andrew Hill, but it quickly established the pianist as a singular voice that veered towards the avant-garde.

While Point of Departure and Compulsion!!!! are celebrated by followers as Hill’s deep plunge into the abstract, Black Fire had already broken ground by challenging bebop conventions. With the help of saxophonist Joe Henderson, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Roy Haynes, Hill draws upon the unhinged within familiar form and structure.

It’s the kind of album that will compel you to sit up and pay close attention — more than 50 years later, it’s still standing strong.

Lou Donaldson - Mr. Shing-A-Ling

 

Within the first few seconds of the first track ‘Ode to Billie Joe’, you might already stumble upon something vaguely familiar.

The song kicks off with a leisurely drum break, one that has been sampled across hip-hop — from the beat that pushes Kanye West’s ‘Jesus Walks’ to full-throttle, to the serene moments that add to the uniform weirdness of A$AP Rocky’s ‘L$D’, it’s as iconic as they come.

Mr. Shing-A-Ling is far and beyond the most playful entry in this list — although sharing a spiritual kinship with All In My Mind, as it prominently features the smooth organ work of Dr. Liston Smith himself — and it’s a terrific party starter with its embrace of hard-knuckled funk grooves and gliding saxophone solos.

Duke Ellington, Max Roach & Charles Mingus - Money Jungle

A jazz album that rarely gets the respect it deserves, Money Jungle is the coalescing of three disparate and brilliant minds — the elder statesman Duke Ellington, aged 63 at time of recording, banded together with Charles Mingus, an avant-garde visionary with a fiery body of work, and bebop pioneer Max Roach. 

What transpires is a collision still unmatched to this day. The recording sessions were denoted by tension, and the performances result in a grittier experience than most of Ellington’s lyrical discography.

For decades, however, the resulting recordings have been hindered by a sub-par mix — with distortion and imaging problems that bury the performances at crucial moments — so the Tone Poet reissue arrives as a godsend. It’s a significantly cleaner mix with added clarity and heft, especially with respect towards Roach’s fiery and polyrhythmic drum work.

Cassandra Wilson - Glamoured

 

Cassandra Wilson has the distinction of being one of the few contemporary voices put to wax in this series, and it’s not hard to see why.

Her 2003 effort Glamoured is a consolidation of Wilson’s powers, imbuing a mix of originals and covers — as wide as Bob Dylan’s ‘Lay Lady Lay’ to the Stax Records staple ‘If Loving You Is Wrong’ — with the same kind of languid energy that makes it a hypnotic listen. The vocalist is joined by the likes of multi-instrumentalist Fabrizio Sotti, who sat in the producer’s seat alongside Wilson, and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, whose distinguished solo work includes a reimagining of Money Jungle.

Now a relic of Blue Note’s adult contemporary era, it’s concrete proof that the label has never slept at the wheel, just attempting different routes. 

Collector Series - Arranging with CK

Collector Series - Arranging with CK

Organizing one's record collection is a very personal experience, which helps give the collector a sense of solace, making the whole listening experience a much more enjoyable one. It almost feels like you’re arranging your musical memories into nursing homes, each LP waiting to be discharged at ease. Now is a perfect time to arrange your collection so let us dig into the mind of collector CK on how he arranges them. 

So CK, let us start with a little about yourself, and how long have you been collecting records?

I am a happy husband and a father of a 10-year old boy. I started to fall in love with music after discovering my dad’s cassette tapes when I was 8 years old. The music from Michael Jackson, Bonny M, Elton John, etc just brought out my long-lasting passion for music. Collecting music in its physical form has always been my greatest love. I started by collecting cassette tapes in the 80s. Saving all my pocket money to buy that new album from my favorite band had been a repetitive cycle in my growing up years. After that, like what everyone did at that time, I moved my attention to CDs. It was only till 2012 that I started my vinyl records collecting journey. A good friend of mine was buying a new turntable and I followed him, and it ended up that I got one too for myself. I still remember the first record I have purchased - Nirvana “Nevermind” and since then the desire to own more records just grew stronger and stronger.

Seeing that you have built up a huge record collection over a long time, how do you care for each record individually in terms of storage? I.e inner sleeves and outer sleeves. Where do you usually source them and how important are they to you.

The records are like my babies. I take great care of every single one, putting the vinyl records into anti-static inner sleeves. I do prefer to house them in the Mofi premier inner sleeves but as they are not cheap, I will have to be selective on which one goes into the Mofi sleeves and which one will go into the cheaper rice-paper alternative sleeves. I generally do not prefer to use paper sleeves as they tend to create scuff marks after taking the record in and out. I have also housed the records in a 5mil plastic outer sleeves.


 

What kind of storage do you use to hold your records? The Ikea Kallax seems to be the most popular one for collectors but yours have such a Hogwarts feel going on and we love it! Could you share where did you get them and any advice for storage?

I have used the Kallax for years and they are really good shelves to use for any collectors. However, when I moved to my new place 3 years ago, I realized my childhood dreams of having a tall record storage shelves where I can climb up a ladder to store or pick my records. The shelves were designed by me and built by a local carpenter. I was inspired by a Japanese shelve design where they have this roller mechanism to pull the cover out and lay it down to form an album cover display. I love the concept and discussed it with my local carpenter to build one using a similar approach. The challenging part of the project was the ladder as I wanted to have a single ladder but ended up with two as the movement of the ladder from one side of the shelve to the other side (my shelves are in an “L-shaped” structure) required more space. After all, I am incredibly pleased with the final product!


Speaking about ladders, we were wondering how do you choose which LPs remain at reachable levels and which ones go up to higher levels. Is there a crate for “new arrivals” etc.

Generally, those records that I am very familiar with or I would think that I will listen to less often goes higher up the shelves. I have placed most of the box sets up on the higher shelves as I can locate them easier. The rationale is I do not want to be searching for a particular title or browsing through the titles while on the ladder. I do have a “new arrivals” crate but it is outside in my living hall, next to my sound system. It can store around 40 records. I keep them there so that it is more accessible during my listening session.



How then do you organize your records? Some people like to arrange it via genres, alphabetical order, moods for certain periods, or even eras. Which do you prefer, is it a combination, and how does it make sense to you?

I have recently made some changes to my organization. I have grouped them in different forms, first I have alphabetized the Funk & Soul, Jazz  (Instrumental vs Vocals), Heavy Metal/Punk and Hip-hop (these are regardless of eras) titles. Next, I have grouped the records I associated them with the eras (the 80s, 90s, and beyond 2000s). I just grouped them based on which era I started to listen to them, this means I will have a Depeche Mode “Delta Machine” (released in 2013) in the 80s section as I have always associated Depeche Mode as the band I listen to in the 80s. I have also grouped some of the series I have collected together, like the Late Night Tales, Peel sessions, The Mood Mosaic series, Now That’s What I called Music, etc. There are also specific artists or bands that I am fond of collecting, like Miles Davis, Prince, The Housemartins/Beautiful South, and these are placed separately. I have also organized the rest in “Classic Rock Bands” (e.g. Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc), “Classic Male Artistes” (e.g. Paul Simon, Billy Joel, etc) and “Classic Female Artistes” (Joni Mitchelle, Dusty Springfield, etc). Last but not least, I have my “Mofi Titles”, “Soundtracks”, “Chinese Music” and “World Music” sections.    

Mobile Fidelity Section

Recently we just learned that mono cartridges will be damaged when used to play stereo records. If so, do you separate your mono records from stereo? Since we are at it, which do you prefer anyways?

I don’t separate my mono records from the stereos. Currently, I do not have a mono cartridge but I am very keen to set up a turntable with a mono cartridge after hearing the beauty of a mono record played on a mono cartridge in a shop at Adelphi. The challenging part is my current turntable does not support two tonearms and this means either I change my turntable, or I will have to get another one for mono. I am still thinking about this at the moment.

Lastly, how often do you arrange your records and what does it mean for you? It’s a long process but I've got a feeling that it must be a therapeutic one, looking through each cover and the memories they entail. Maybe could you also share a particular section of your collection that you find yourself always going back to the most?

I must be honest that I can be a little messy when it comes to organizing and arranging my records. I tried to do it after every listening session if I can so that I will not misplace them after some time. It can be quite frustrating if you want to listen to one album for some reason, but you cannot find it in the section you thought you have grouped it under. Yes, it is indeed a therapeutic one to look through each record cover and many of its music will bring back specific memories of my life. My record collection is like a time machine, it has the power and the ability to transport me back to the time. As I grew up in the 80s, I must say that the music from the 80s will have the fondest memories for me in my collection. 

Hopefully, through reading this, it will inspire you to start arranging your record collection however you may want. Ultimately, the process of arranging, cleaning, or packing always brings a sense of freshness, like starting a new or giving a new flame to your space. Being sensitive to our spaces and the things we have is always a true blessing to hold.

Thanks, CK for your insight and taking the time off to do this! Stay safe and take care!

You can get more updates from CK via
Insta: https://www.instagram.com/myllck/

Youtube: https://bit.ly/2zZMOXG

- TAV Team

Top 5 Essential Records at the Vault - Latin America | January 2020

Top 5 Essential Records at the Vault - Latin America | January 2020

Artist: Arthur Verocai

Album: Self-Titled | 1972

This reissue: Mr. Bongo | 2016

Filed under as Bossanova, Samba, Jazz, Funk, Breaks and Psychedelic Rock, listeners here can expect a 29 minute long LP of unique song arrangements and interesting sonic timbres. Madlib described it as an album he could listen to every day for the rest of his life and we won’t disagree with that. Funky, Jazzy and free yet intimate and soulful, a journey through different emotions. An essential record for all of you starting their journey on Brazilian music.

Available here

Artist: Omara Portuondo

Album: Self Titled | 2000

This reissue: World Circuit | 2019

Portuondo, who is one of Cuba’s most acclaimed artist released her self-titled album in 2000. A true classic in songwriting which features many traditional musical styles, from son to guajira to bolero. On top of that, Portuondo’s voice is close to near perfection, evoking a sense of nostalgia, which instantly teleports the listener to her homeland. Nicknamed “The Fiancee of Feelings ”, this is one of our top recommendations at the vault – true vibes here! 

Available here

Artist: Caetano Veloso

Album: Transa | 1972

This reissue: Elemental Music | 2018

Transa is the fourth album by Brazilian artist Caetano Veloso, originally released in 1972 by Polygram. Recorded during his exile in London - the LP sounds like 70s electric rock fused with that Brazilian feel - strong percussive elements, berimbau sounds and his own Viola playing. Some songs were sung in English and some in Portuguese, all presenting a melancholic vibe with his strong yearning voice paired with beautiful chord changes and dynamic song structures. Sounds ahead of its time! Highly recommend this album.

Available here



Artist: Carioca & Devas

Album: Misterios De Amazonia | 1980

This reissue: Altercats | 2019

This 1980s Brazilian psych-folk LP reissued by Altercat records is a true gem. Drawing inspiration from the folklore of the Amazon and Brazil’s northeastern regions, the songs are an introspective journey into the living Amazon expressed through a spiritual touch of strong rhythmic percussions and melodies. 

Available here

Artist: Werther

Album: Self-titled | 1970

This reissue: Altercats | 2019

Reissue of 1970’s best-kept Bossa Nova Secret, Werther courtesy of Altercat Records once again. 12 tracks that evoke such an intimate and personal feel supported by subtle musical arrangements. Classic at times - the subtle strums of the guitar and the blowing of the flute paired with raw and honest vocals, makes this one of our top LPs currently at the vault. Can’t get any more real than this! Definitely, a must-listen, underrated piece.

Available here

The Analog Vault - Top 10 picks of 2019

The Analog Vault - Top 10 picks of 2019
Here are some of our top picks of 2019! It was very difficult to narrow it down to just 10 but we managed to pick some based on what was popular amongst you guys who have supported the vault over this year. We added more tunes to our Spotify playlist so that some of these titles don't get missed out but here are our 10 picks, in no particular order! 
*A big shout out to all who came through and spent the year with us listening and discovering music together
1. VA - Pacific Breeze (Japanese City Pop, AOR, Boogie 1976-1986)

One of those compilations that you won’t want to skip a single song. A very good introductory to the world of Japanese City Pop and one of our best sellers here at the Vault. With its eye-striking cover painting done by Tokyo based artist Hiroshi Nagai, we’ve seen many head turners and questions asked purely based on its illustration. Many key City Pop players on here, from Taeko Ohnuki and Minako Yoshida, as well as cult favorites Hitomi Tohyama and Hiroshi Sato. The music ranges from the playful emotions of City pop, its Machine like – Computer funk groove, right down to that distinct nostalgia which we all love from time to time. If City Pop is your thing, this compilation won’t disappoint!

2. Meitei - Kwaidan

Released on vinyl by local imprint Evening Chants, Meitei’s Kwaidan is a weird and wonderful journey into the spooky world of Kwaidan – a style of Japanese ghost stories. Using intricate sound collage as form, the lost Japanese mood is presented in a contemporary spin on this exceptional LP.  

3. Fauxe - Ikhlas

Our first release as a label! This wonderful beats album by local producer Fauxe was initially released on cassette in 2018, and we absolutely had to release it on vinyl. Fauxes exploration of the KL music scene is a story expressed through samples of traditional Malaysia music with Hip Hop as its vehicle. Inspired by an eight-month stay in Malaysia, this LP is a true modern ode to the sonic legacy of the country. Likewise, we are inspired by the man's love for music of all sorts and his Ikhlas (sincere) creativity.

4. Various Artist - Hydeout Productions - First Collection

A compilation album, the first of 2 released by Nujabes Hydeout Productions Label. Previously on CD, these beautiful songs have made their way onto wax for the first time. Featuring some major players such as Funky DL, Apani B-Fly Emcee and Shing02 paired with the iconic beats of the late Nujabes. Not much has to be said but this compilation helps to show how far his music has reached out, breaking boundaries and forming a unique vibe truly known to Nujabes. With his classic style of sampling and his known swing, the music here presents a colorful, wavering and watery flow that brings moods of both melancholy and beauty. 

5. Bombay S Jayashri - Shravanam

Time Capsule has knocked it out of the park with their fourth release, presenting the transcendental work of intimately spiritual Indian classical music by celebrated vocalist and composer Bombay S Jayashri. The drone of the tambura, intricate percussion and meditative chanting make up its deep musical landscape, truly engulfing any room this is played in; deservedly due to the incredible production. An incredible release by Time Capsule that will touch anyone with a spiritual charge.

6. Keith Jarrett - The Melody At Night

This LP is on rotation at the store most of the time as it fits the vibe of the store perfectly! If you have visited our store in the last 3 months, you probably would have heard it. Melancholic and beautiful from start to end with the solo piano work of Keith Jarrett, this LP is perfect for an after-work listen or just before you head to bed! First time on Vinyl from the good people of ECM Label, we highly recommend it for all music lovers and vinyl collectors :)  Perfect album to sum up the end of 2019.

7. Mort Garson - Mother Earth's Plantasia

First official reissue of this plantastic masterpiece made up of beautifully synthesized arrangements for flora and fauna. Surely one of the most popular reissues of 2019 with its iconic artwork along with some lovely melodies packed in here. It comes with a very creative seed paper download card - plant it and watch it sprout :) “Warm earth music for plants and the people that love them” – all melodies were created on the Moog, orchestrated by Mort Garson leading the instrument to speak a charming and subtle language. If you haven’t listened to this, we ought you to! Truly putting the synth in photosynthesis is the right tag line!

8. Sampa The Great - The Return

Melbourne artist Sampa The Great here with her debut album The Return. Truly unique rhythmic flow throughout with top productions and water like rhymes. Some key collaborations here as well such as Silent Jay, Jon Wayne and London Jazz collective Steam Down, giving it that extra flavor. Listening to it in its entirety is key here, with each tune touching different styles yet moving seamlessly as it progresses. Surely a must-listen for all hip hop heads and RNB lovers looking for that fresh sound. 

9. Resavoir - Resavoir

Chicago collective Resavoir with their first full-length album providing a very refreshing take on Modern / Contemporary Jazz. It features a suite of elegantly orchestrated jazz instrumentals filled with samples and interesting electronic textures. Loads of rhythmic styles on this one as well with that breakbeat, hip hop, house, and soul-jazz type rhythm. If you’re looking for something fresh sounding, Resavoir is a perfect LP to sum up that cross between Modern Jazz, Electronic and Ambient music.

10. The Comet Is Coming - Trust In The Lifeforce of The Deep Mystery

Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery is the second studio album by the English group, The Comet Is Coming. With Shabakka Hutchings leading the group with his high paced out style of playing the saxophone / Bass clarinet paired with lush electronic elements and a tightly pocketed drum groove – All the right elements for an interesting listen, definitely one of the freshest sounds in 2019, contributing to the ever-growing sound of the UK Jazz scene.

Catch you guys in 2020, Peace! 

Record Store Day 2018: Jazz Releases

Record Store Day 2018: Jazz Releases

While jazz records seem fewer and far between on this year’s Record Store Day 2018 set of releases, we here at The Analog Vault are particularly excited about the following albums being released this RSD.

2 official previously unissued recordings of jazz-funk guitarist Grant Green in over 10 years:

Grant Green - Funk in France: From Paris to Antibes (1969-1970) | Deluxe limited-edition 180gm 3LPs | Resonance Records

Grant Green - Funk in France | Vinyl | Record Store Day RSD 2018

 

Grant Green - Slick! - Live at Oil Can Harry's | Deluxe limited-edition 180gm 2LP | Resonance Records

Grant Green - Slick! | Vinyl | Record Store Day RSD 2018

 

The vinyl release of Hudson, by jazz-meets-rock supergroup, consisting of multi-generational quartet drummer Jack DeJohnette, bassist Larry Grenadier, keyboardist John Medeski, and guitarist John Scofield | Motéma Music

Jack DeJohnette, Larry Grenadier, John Medeski, guitarist John Scofield.- Hudson Vinyl | Record Store Day RSD 2018

 

A previously unheard EP by Miles Davis called Rubberband, featuring Al Jarreau and Chaka Khan |  Warner Bros/Rhino

Miles Davis - Rubberband EP | Vinyl | Record Store Day 2018 RSD

 

An Evening With Ornette Coleman, Part 2 | ORG Music

An Evening with Ornette Coleman Part 2 | Org Music | Vinyl | Record Store Day RSD 2018

 

Thelonious Monk – Monk (Remastered) |  Columbia / Legacy

Thelonious Monk - Monk (Remastered) | Vinyl | Record Store Day RSD 2018

We will be stocking a limited number of these albums to be sold at our store on Record Store Day 2018, 21st April 2018 Saturday, onwards.

More details on each of the titles below.

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Grant Green

Funk in France: From Paris to Antibes (1969-1970) | Deluxe limited-edition 180gm 3LP, mastered at Bernie Grundman, pressed at 33 1/3 RPM by RTI.

  • Remastered audio transferred directly from the original tape reels.
  • Includes extensive booklet with rare photos by Chuck Stewart, Jean-Pierre Leloir and Christian Rose; essays by noted jazz producer Michael Cuscuna, Resonance producer Zev Feldman, Ina's Pascal Rozat; interviews with organ legend Dr. Lonnie Smith, Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno, Green's son Greg Green (aka Grant Green Jr.), organist Clarence Palmer & more

Slick! - Live at Oil Can Harry's | Deluxe limited-edition 180gm 2LP, mastered at Bernie Grundman, pressed at 33 1/3 RPM by RTI.

  • Remastered audio transferred directly from the original 10" tape reels.
  • Includes exhaustive booklet with rare photos taken at the club by Gerry Nairn; essays by acclaimed writer A. Scott Galloway, Resonance producer Zev Feldman, Vancouver DJ Gary Barclay; interviews with Detroit guitar legend Perry Hughes, Green's son Greg Green (aka Grant Green Jr.), drummer Greg "Vibrations" Williams; plus words from Grant Green and keyboardist Emmanuel Riggins in 1975

 

“Resonance Records is proud to announce the first official previously unissued recordings of Grant Green in over 10 years, capturing the jazz-funk guitar icon during what's believed to have been his only performances in France and Vancouver.Funk in France: From Paris to Antibes (1969-1970) is being released in partnership with the Institut national de l'audiovisuel (Ina) with remastered high-resolution audio transferred directly from the original tapes of the Office of French Radio and Television (ORTF). This is also Resonance's third album released in partnership with INA in a series of ORTF recordings, following 2016's critically acclaimed Larry Young In Paris: The ORTF Recordings and 2017's Wes Montgomery In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording.

In tandem with Funk in France, Resonance will also release a never-before-issued recording called Slick! - Live at Oil Can Harry's captured live on September 5, 1975 at a popular club in Vancouver, BC Canada called Oil Can Harry's. Taped 3 years after the classic Live at the Lighthouse album released on Blue Note in 1972, this marks the latest known official live Grant Green recording on CD and LP.

Both albums will be available exclusively for Record Store Day on April 21, 2018, followed by CD and digital releases on May 25, 2018. Funk in France is being released as a limited-edition, hand-numbered (of 3,000) 180-gram 3LP gatefold set, mastered at the legendary Bernie Grundman Mastering Studios and pressed at 33 1/3 RPM by Record Technology Inc. (RTI). This collection of recordings from the ORTF studios in Paris on October 26, 1969 features the legendary guitarist with bassist Larry Ridley and drummerDon Lamond, with jazz guitar icon Barney Kessel accompanying Green on "I Wish You Love"; plus full concert recordings from the Antibes Jazz Festival on June 18 and 20, 1970 with saxophonist Claude Bartee and organist Clarence Palmer, who both played on Green's classic 1969 Blue Note album Carryin' On, and drummer Billy Wilson. The ORTF studio session was taped for a radio broadcast produced by legendary French producer André Francis. The Antibes recording was taped less than a month before Green's first live release Alive! on Blue Note Records.

The companion album Slick! - Live at Oil Can Harry's is also being released on Record Store Day as a limited-edition, hand-numbered (of 3,000) 180-gram 2LP gatefold set, mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering Studios and pressed at 33 1/3 RPM by Record Technology Inc. (RTI). Featuring a primarily Detroit-based band with Emmanuel Riggins (father of drummer Karriem Riggins) on electric piano, Ronnie Ware on bass, drummer Greg "Vibrations" Williams (Jack McDuff, Lou Donaldson) and Gerald Izzard on percussion, this recording was originally broadcast on CHQM-FM in Vancouver by the DJ Gary Barclay and has been transferred from his original 10" reels to reveal a sterling sonic experience.

Producer Zev Feldman says about these projects, "I wanted to create a really special event celebrating Grant Green and thought that putting out 2 separate albums at once would make a stronger statement than just one. And in fact, Funk in France is actually 2-albums-in-1, with the Paris and Antibes recordings being combined together in one 3LP and 2CD set. Fans will note that the Paris material recorded at the ORTF studio has been previously leaked to YouTube, so we could have just released Antibes on its own, but we thought both recordings deserved the official Resonance treatment. We're also proud to have the family's involvement on these recordings, including the eldest son Greg, who is also an incredible jazz guitarist like his father. These albums showcase what I call Green's "evolution of the funk," and I think these albums will excite longtime Grant Green fans and hopefully bring new fans along for the ride too."” – Press release

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Jack DeJohnette, Larry Grenadier, John Medeski & John Scofield - Hudson | Motéma Music

“Music giants Jack DeJohnette, Larry Grenadier, John Medeski, and John Scofield, join forces in the electrifying new jazz-meets-rock supergroup, Hudson. Inspired by the beauty and spirit of their home region, New York’s Hudson River Valley, these famed improvisers bring fresh dimensions to Woodstock associated classics by Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix and The Band and as well as compelling original compositions.” – Record Store Day website

“On their own, drummer Jack DeJohnette, bassist Larry Grenadier, keyboardist/organist John Medeski and guitarist John Scofield can each boast careers that are stunning in their diversity and reach, building impressive audiences across a wide range of genres and styles from jazz to rock and beyond. Together they comprise the rare supergroup worthy of the name. What’s brought them together is not just their similarly adventurous and virtuosic music, but a shared love for the scenery and spirit of the Hudson River Valley, which all four call home. ...

The group’s extraordinary self-titled debut, Hudson strikingly captures the atmosphere and beauty of the region while celebrating the extraordinary music that has emerged from it. Mixing original music with thrilling renditions of world-famous songs by the likes of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix and The Band’s Robbie Robertson, Hudson has created an album as spectacular and breathtaking as the Hudson Valley itself.” – Press Release

“Too often, musicians of this caliber who come together under the particular umbrella of a "project" find the end result muddied by any number of difficulties, from individual egos to production excesses. Thankfully, none of that is the case with Hudson, the collective recording by the all-star, multi-generational quartet of drummer Jack DeJohnette, bassist Larry Grenadier, keyboardist John Medeski, and guitarist John Scofield. ...

Hudson is a modern update that harkens back -- in feel -- to the great Blue Note sessions of the '60s, when a group of jazz masters could come together to play good music and let off some steam. We need more records like this.” – AllMusic

 

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Mile Davis – Rubberband EP |  Warner Bros/Rhino

“In 1985, Miles Davis shocked the music world by moving from Columbia Records to Warner Bros. Records and started recording Rubberband. This album marked a radical departure for him, with funk and soul grooves, and was to include vocals by Al Jarreau and Chaka Khan. The album was subsequently shelved and Davis went on to record Tutu.

Rubberband’s title track has been updated and remixed by its producers, with vocals by R&B / jazz singer Ledisi. Randy Hall and Zane Giles also finished the original version for this exclusive 4-track Record Store Day EP. The cover artwork is a painting by Davis.” – Record Store Day website

“A previously unheard Miles Davis recording is set to be released for the first time. A project called ‘Rubberband of Life’ featuring Al Jarreau and Chaka Khan was shelved by Warner records in 1985; Miles ended up recording his Tutu album with Marcus Miller instead.

The music remained unfinished until a few months ago when the original producers (Randy Hall and Zane Giles) recruited Miles’s nephew Vince Wilburn Jr. and Grammy-winning singer Ledisi to complete the EP. A whole album release is on the cards for later this year.

“It was fat grooves, really funky, Miles talking. It was street and funky and dirty. We didn’t go after writing a great jazz song, Miles wanted the street thing; he wanted the chord changes he wanted to play. The basis was to take it to the street like ‘On The Corner’, it was Miles taking more chances,” said Hall.  Giles added, “Miles kept saying ‘I don’t wanna do my usual stuff. I wanna do something different.’”

The EP set to be released on Record Store Day – April 21, with an album sleeve featuring a painting by Miles Davis himself:” – JazzFM

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An Evening With Ornette Coleman, Part 2 | ORG Music

“An Evening With Ornette Coleman (Part 2) is taken from a 1965 concert at Fairfield Hall in Croydon, England. This album captures Coleman during a transitional period that showcases his experimentation with contemporary classical forms. The recordings have been released in various forms over the years, though the last US vinyl pressing is now over 40 years old. Presented as the second in a two part series, this reissue shines a new light on the fantastic recording from a world-renowned jazz great. Pressed on 180gram color vinyl at Pallas in Germany, this limited edition release features new artwork and is exclusive to Record Store Day 2018.” – Record Store Day website

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Thelonious Monk – Monk | Columbia

“Thelonious Monk's fourth studio album for Columbia Records, released in 1964, featured a sprightly mix of standards ("Just You, Just Me", "April In Paris") and originals ("Teo", a unique arrangement of "Children's Song (This Old Man)"). Monk would use this lineup (himself on piano, Charlie Rouse on tenor sax, Larry Gates on bass and Ben Riley on drums) in the studio and in concert for the next four years. To close Monk's centennial year, rediscover this overlooked gem in his discography, newly remastered at high resolution from the original master tapes.” – Record Store Day website

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A Madlib Classic Gets New Reissue

A Madlib Classic Gets New Reissue

Is it jazz? Is it hip hop? Madlib's classic genre-bending album Shades of Blue is set for a limited run reissue through Music On Vinyl

Released on Blue Note in 2003, the album had Madlib raiding the Blue Note vaults and sampling seminal records from the likes of Wayne Shorter, Donald Byrd, Bobby Hutcherson and more.

One of the finest albums in the sampling/cut-up range of hip hop, this run of vinyl will be pressed on blue/white wax, with the first 1,000 copies numbered as well.

Check out the full album below.

 

Ella Fitzgerald's Gershwin Songbooks To Be Reissued For Her 100th Birthday

Ella Fitzgerald's Gershwin Songbooks To Be Reissued For Her 100th Birthday

In honour of her centennial celebrations, Ella Fitzgerald's 1959 album with the Nelson Riddle OrchestraElla Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Song Books, will be reissued in a spectacular 6 LP box set.

Born on 25th April 1917, Ella Fitzgerald is often regarded as one of the most important and influential jazz vocalists of all time, becoming highly synonymous with countless jazz standards.

Remastered by Ron McMaster at Capitol Studios in Hollywood where the album was originally recorded in 1959 under the supervision of Verve Records founder Norman Granz. The box set will consist of the original 5 LP album with a new 10-inch instrumental EP. Which includes orchestra tracks and additional session material, one of which is a mono alternate take of "Oh! Lady Be Good!" on vinyl for the first time ever. 

The set also includes replicas of the five lithographs by French impressionist painter Bernard Buffet and a hardcover book, Words And Music, which has been updated with additional historical information and an afterword by noted author David Ritz.

The box set will be released on 21st April.

Listen to the original album below.

Jazzman Records' Next Instalment In Spiritual Jazz Series Focuses On Islamic Jazz

Jazzman Records' Next Instalment In Spiritual Jazz Series Focuses On Islamic Jazz

The next instalment in Jazzman Records' deep and comprehensive Spiritual Jazz compilation series is set to feature jazz inspired by the Islamic faith during the era of 1957 - 1988.

Following the story of Islamic influence on notable public figures Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali who were strong proponents of African American liberation politics during the civil rights era. Which lead to many musicians converting to the spiritually charged Ahmadiyya school of Islam, which included several legendary jazz pioneers Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey, Ahmad Jamal and Yusef Lateef (who is featured on this compilation). Subsequently the music that was recorded drew heavily from Middle Eastern music, invoking the spiritual and esoteric sounds of Islamic Africa.

The compilation features feature tracks that have never been reissued before and is pressed on double vinyl.

Check out Yusef Lateef's 'Morning' off the compilation and full tracklist below.

Tracklist:
01. Maurice McIntyre - "Humility In The Light Of Creator"
02. Ritual Trio - "Africanos/Latinos"
03. Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim - "Kalahari Suite"
04. Creative Arts Ensemble - "Uhuru"
05. East New York Ensemble De Music - "Mevlana"
06. Idrees Sulieman - "The Camel"
07. Yusef Lateef - "Morning"
08. Sabu & Sahib Shihab - "Nus"
09. Abdelrahman 'Abdo' Elkhatib/Solar Plexus - "Ah Ya Zen"
10. The Lightmen - "All Praises To Allah" (parts 1 & 2)
11. Ahmed Abdul-Malik - "Nadusilma"
12. Dawan Muhammad - "Taumbu"

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