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  • Ellington At Newport Ellington At Newport Quick View

    $24.99
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    Ellington At Newport

    Numbered, Limited Edition Mono LP


    Pandemonium: Historic 1956 Live Set Triggered Spontaneous Audience Outburst That Fed Directly into Feel, Outcome of Performance


    Ellington's Legendary Comeback Punctuated by Paul Gonsalves' 27-Chorus Saxophone Solo


    Unrivaled Analog Transparency: LP Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's World-Renowned Mastering System and Pressed at RTI


    One of the Most Riveting and Important Jazz Recordings Ever Made


    It spurred Duke Ellington's comeback into the mainstream. It captures a performance so energetic, wild, unexpected, and unprecedented that the music literally caused thousands of people to jump up and stand on their chairs, worrying officials that a riot might ensue. It is jazz of the highest order, played at an almost rock n' roll pace, and with an enthusiastic pep that confirms Ellington and his ensemble fed off the crowd's reaction as the collective lit into each new stanza. It is Ellington's best-selling album. It is Ellington at Newport.


    Like few records before or since, the 1956 set owes as much to context and circumstance as it does instrumental execution. Years prior to his appearance in Rhode Island, Ellington had suffered lackadaisical record sales and a falling out of the public eye, as bop and hard bop supplanted tradition big bands. Yet in preparation for the event, Ellington worked on experimental ideas and a reshaping of some of his standards.


    The iconic arranger/composer's foresight comes into fruition throughout the white-hot set, never more so than on "Diminuendo and Crescendo In Blue," on which tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves erases all rules and outlays a 27-chorus solo that left everyone in awe-and prompted them to stand on chairs, dance feverishly, and hoot and holler to an extent that caused Ellington to ultimately cool things off. The improvisational flight epitomizes boldness, freedom, risk, and, to the bandleader, an assuredly loud response to the critics that had believed his well was tapped.


    The songs in advance of the climactic moment are no less exciting; Ellington and his 15-piece collective manhandle notes with ease, swinging and sliding through "Festival Junction" with a requisite balance of poise and panache, and kicking heels on Newport Up via Ellington's spry piano riffs, Jimmy Hamilton's spicy clarinet feeds, and Clark Terry's trumpet runs. In every way, Ellington at Newport is as quintessential as Kind of Blue, Giant Steps, and Way Out West.


    And now, the 1956 classic can be experienced in an analog fidelity never before as authentic or transparent on any pressing. Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's world-renowned mastering system and pressed at RTI (America's best record plant), this numbered limited edition Silver Series LP of Ellington's triumph boasts tremendous separation, deeper low frequencies, clearer highs, and front-to-back dynamics. Horns blare with multi-hued color, the Duke's 88s ring out with treble finesse, and the rhythm section claims an added presence buried on previous editions. Musically and sonically, you need this LP. It's that simple.


    This title is not eligible for discount.

    1. Festival Junction
    2. Blues to Be There
    3. Newport Up
    4. Jeep's Blues
    5. Diminuendo and Crescendo In Blue
    Duke Ellington
    $24.99
    Vinyl LP Mono - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Cosmic Scene (Pure Pleasure) The Cosmic Scene (Pure Pleasure) Quick View

    $34.99
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    The Cosmic Scene (Pure Pleasure)

    Still riding the success of his triumphant concert at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival, Duke Ellington in 1958 decided to reduce his touring orchestra to a nonet dubbed the Spacemen, and recorded this lone project with them for the Columbia label. Perhaps inspired by the first orbiting satellites, Ellington is not taking cues from George Russell or Sun Ra, whose extraterrestrial inspirations led them to even more progressive paths. This large ensemble is playing mostly standards, but the arrangements and solos carve an integrated yet elasticized concept that allows for a more expanded role for the ensemble's trombonists Quentin 'Butter' Jackson, John Sanders, and Britt Woodman, and select soloists. One in the solo spotlight is Clark Terry on flugelhorn exclusively, putting his fabled trumpet aside. The classic material presented includes clarinetist Jimmy Hamilton's features Avalon and Early Autumn, the slinky stripper pole blues version of St. Louis Blues with Ellington's piano taking the lead, and a version of Body & Soul, with tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves completely extrapolating and re-harmonizing the tune. There's a modified Perdido, an animated and perky Midnight Sun that deviates from any other slow and lugubrious version of the ballad, and Jones a real good swinger. There are two originals; the blues bass of Jimmy Woode and the 'bones with plentiful piano from Duke infusing Bass-Ment, and one of the more delightful of all of Ellington's book, the poppin' and boppin' Spacemen, a bright happy horn chart led by Terry that is one of the more distinctive Ellington numbers of this time period. It comes highly recommended.



    Musicians:



    • Paul Gonsalves (tenor saxophone)

    • Clark Terry (fluegel horn)

    • Britt Woodman, John Sanders, Quentin Jackson (trombone)

    • Jimmy Hamilton (clarinet)

    • Duke Ellington (piano)

    • Jimmy Wood (bass)

    • Sam Woodyard (drums)



    Recording: April 1958 at Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York




    About Pure Pleasure



    At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.



    During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.



    A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.



    We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.



    We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.



    To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.



    This title is not eligible for discount.

    1. Avalon
    2. Body And Soul
    3. Bass-ment
    4. Early Autumn
    5. Jones
    6. Perdido
    7. St. Louis Blues
    8. Spacemen
    9. Midnight Sun
    10. Take The A Train
    Duke Ellington
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Blues In Orbit Blues In Orbit Quick View

    $34.99
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    Blues In Orbit

    Duke Ellington is seen by many as one of the frontrunners of Jazz and as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century. He was a part of the Harlem Renaissance and many feel that because of him, Jazz gained recognition as a art form.


    Many of his instrumental songs have become Jazz standards, and his distinctive style remains a shining beacon in music. Thanks to a stellar performance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1957 there was a renewed interest in his music and his orchestra, and they performed all over the world.


    Blues In Orbit was mostly recorded during one after-midnight session after they had returned from a run of shows in Europe. It presents a Big Band in full swing; there is true synergy at work here that could only come from a group of musicians that expect - and get - the best from each other. Free flowing improvisations and straightforward arrangements show a band that is kicking back, relaxing, and doing it nice 'n' easy.

    1. Three J's Blues
    2. Smada
    3. Pie Eye's Blues
    4. Sweet and Pungent
    5. C Jam Blues
    6. In a Mellow Tone
    7. Blues in Blueprint
    8. The Swingers Get the Blues Too
    9. The Swinger's Jump
    10. Blues in Orbit
    11. Villes Ville is the Place, Man
    Duke Ellington
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Love Calls (Pure Pleasure) Love Calls (Pure Pleasure) Quick View

    $34.99
    Buy Now
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    Love Calls (Pure Pleasure)

    Think of 'Lockjaw' Davis and ten to one you think of Count Basie. Think of Paul Gonsalves and - same thing, you think of Duke Ellington. The top tenors, in other words, of the top big bands; musicians from the top league where the competition is toughest. Yet there is no battle here, no contest, no vying to outdo the other in terms of velocity.


    If you know these two men only by hearsay, you may have reservations about them as balladeers. They both have reputations for derring-do of a different kind. Davis has never hesitated to do battle with the most frenetic performers, with those who would stick at nothing to win, and lost - to him. And Gonsalves was the hero of one of the great nights in jazz history, when he blew twenty-seven romping, stomping choruses on Duke Ellington's Diminuendo And Crescendo In Blue at Newport 1956.


    It is easy for jazzmen to become typed, so that the public demands the repeated display of just one particular facet of his talent. This has happened to the two men showcased in this album, where the other side of their musical personalities is brought into focus. Although they have both developed highly individual styles, their original sources of inspiration were masters of the ballad - Ben Webster in Davis' case, Coleman Hawkins in that of Gonsalves.


    Their different approaches to the ballad make this recording consistently interesting and surprising. Both are soulful, both are rhapsodical. But Davis plays with clear, confident articulation, a buzz in his tone, and a bite in his phraseology. Generally he is the more driving and passionate of the two. The Gonsalves style is, on the other hand, sinuous, insinuating and less direct. His imaginative lyricism is more tender and often melancholy, his tone well-produced and finely rounded.


    The breathy sub-tone, which Gonsalves uses so well, adds a curiously confidential and intimate dimension. It is like the musical equivalent of a whispered aside or a delicate suggestion. But both men alternate very adroitly between the discreet and the bold. Their mutual understanding is, in fact, positively uncanny at times, for they had never previously recorded together, and preparation before the sessions was minimal. In the studio their long term professionalism stood them in good stead, as did that of their accompanists, whose taste and sensitivity contribute so much to the recording's appeal. Never obtrusive, they remain in close, listening support, Hanna and Barksdale being quick to prolong or emphasize the thoughts of the two soloists.


    Musicians:



    • Eddie 'Lockjaw' Harris, Paul Gonsalves (tenor saxophone)

    • Roland Hanna (piano)

    • Everett Barksdale (guitar)

    • Ben Tucker (bass)

    • Grady Tate (drums)



    Recording: 1967 at RCA Victor's Studio B, New York City, by Bernard Keville

    Production: Brad McCuen


    About Pure Pleasure



    At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.



    During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.



    A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.



    We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.



    We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.



    To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.


    This title is not eligible for discount.

    1. Love Is Here To Stay
    2. When Sunny Gets Blue
    3. If I Ruled The World
    4. Time After Time
    5. Just Friends
    6. Don't Blame Me
    7. I Should Care
    8. The Man With The Horn
    9. We'll Be Together Again
    10. A Weaver Of Dreams
    11. If I Should Lose You
    Eddie Lockjaw Davis
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Bringin' It Bringin' It Quick View

    $34.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Bringin' It

    Iconic bassist Christian McBride has been doing what the title of his upcoming big band album implores for years: Bringin' It. This highly anticipated release, which follows the Christian McBride Big Band's 2011 Grammy® Award-winning debut, The Good Feeling, puts his status and skills as an all-around entertainer on full display. With a list of growing accolades including his recent appointment as Artistic Director at the Newport Jazz Festival, hosting shows on SiriusXM ("The Lowdown: Conversations with Christian") and NPR ("Jazz Night in America," as well as frequent online contributions to various programs including "All Things Considered"), speaking engagements, and occasional DJ performances under the alias DJ Brother Mister, he's more than just a bandleader: Christian McBride is transcending that title to something more complete.


    If it is true that jazz is a sponge for musicians to absorb and then squeeze out what they hear to produce their own sound, McBride has been "bringin' it" for quite a long time. From his amazing quintet, Inside Straight, to his avant-garde leaning quartet, New Jawn, the contemporary sound of his fusion group, A Christian McBride Situation, to the critically acclaimed music he's made with his trio, the bassist has always disseminated his own unique 360-degree view of jazz.


    While the music played by the Christian McBride Big Band is on the cutting edge of 21st century large ensemble music, the orchestra's presentation, like its sound, respects the past while looking forward. Danny Ray, the legendary stage announcer for James Brown, travels with the group to give the leader an old-school intro before playing his thoroughly modern music. "I love having the show aspect of it as well, with Danny Ray there, and being able to create somewhat of a show while also having Melissa there as our vocalist."


    That would be Melissa Walker, who graces Bringin' It on two tracks: "Upside Down," originally done by Brazilian superstar Djavan, and the unlikely slick arrangement of "Mr. Bojangles." In addition to maintaining a career in jazz, Walker is also the co-founder of Jazz House Kids, the award winning jazz education center and she's Mrs. Christian McBride.


    Only two tracks on this 11-song set were not arranged by the leader: the "Upside Down" arrangement was contributed by Norman Simmons, while "Optimism" is from the person he's known the longest in his band, trombonist Steve Davis. Davis has the distinction of being the very last Jazz Messenger that Art Blakey hired before he died in 1990.


    "I saw that last Jazz Messengers band that Steve was in," McBride remembers. "Blakey was a huge influence on me and because of that, Steve and I share the same compositional and arranging DNA. You see, even though I've been influenced by every great big band and every great arranger I've ever heard, three of my greatest influences - not just as composers but also as improvisers - are Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter and Cedar Walton. I mean before, after and during the period when they were with Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers."


    McBride played bass for Freddie Hubbard's quintet for nearly three years starting when he was 18. One of the songs he loved to play with the legendary trumpeter was "Thermo." A few years ago he brought this arrangement to a gig with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. When the four trumpeters had to work hard to go over the riffs in the tune, McBride felt a certain pride. "I just thought that Freddie was somewhere up in heaven laughing," says McBride.


    Perennial poll-topping arranger Maria Schneider has also been an influence on McBride. He cites times when he'd just bug her for hours, peppering her with questions, particularly on a recent trip to Europe. He honors her with his rendition of "I Thought About You." "She has an arrangement of 'Giant Steps' where she arranged the melody over a D pedal so I said let me try something like that," McBride recounts. "That's where that came from. She really gave me a lot of information and has been a great influence on me."


    Another aspect that has helped the bassist find his voice as an arranger is the fact that, except for drummer Quincy Phillips, this is the exact same band that recorded with him six years ago. "These guys know my sound. They know my style. They know what my compositional and arranging DNA is. I've been able to keep the exact same unit, so like Duke Ellington used to do, I can write for my guys because I know their sound and style.


    "As for my originals, they all have been recorded with my small groups," he continues on about the tracks "Gettin' To It," "Youthful Bliss," and "Used'ta Could." "As an arranger I'm still in the early stages of my development so it seems to me the best way to really make my hopeful ascension into a better arranger is to obviously take a song I've already written and try to add to that and make it a worthy large ensemble song."


    While the Wes Montgomery smoker "Full House" isn't a McBride original, it is part of his development as an arranger - it's a big band chart he first created for guitarist Russell Malone at Jazz Aspen in 2009. He says he's tweaked it since then for his go-to guitarist Rodney Jones. For the McCoy Tyner classic "Sahara," the bassist channeled his 20+ years of playing with the legendary Chick Corea, for which McBride won two of his five Grammys. Another one of his Grammys came from a co-op project with Tyner. "I always thought of Chick, in his early years, as being a branch from the tree of McCoy Tyner, if you will," he commented.


    McBride's work ethic is evident in the challenge he set for himself on the steamy old ballad "In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning." "I decided to torture myself by writing that arrangement in the key of B. To me that's a very pretty key, but it is a very hard key for a double bass because I get to play no open strings," McBride explains. "When I play it live, every bass player in the house comes to me and says, 'is that in B? Why do you do that?' Maybe it's because I'm crazy, but I really wanted to do something difficult and keep myself on my toes."


    Planning to keep this group simmering while he simultaneously resurrects his Inside Straight band and introduces his new trio, Tip City, McBride is most excited to embrace the golden age of big bands while they continue bringin' it with more gigs and their first European tour. "With my big band I try to combine all of my journeys and goals as a musician and then try to put it in a wrapper of show business," the five-time Grammy® Award-winner comments. "I really think in that sense I'm following something of a big band tradition."

    1. Gettin' To It
    2. Thermo
    3. Youthful Bliss
    4. I Thought About You
    5. Sahara
    6. Upside Down
    7. Full House
    8. Mr. Bojangles
    9. Used 'ta Could
    10. In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
    11. Optimism
    Christian McBride Big Band
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
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