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Milestones (Mono)Masterwork is Oft-Overlooked Link Between Round About Midnight and Kind of Blue
Vanguard Sonics: Mobile Fidelity Reissue Presents The 1958 Standard with Unparalleled Sound Quality
In MONO You Will Not Hear a Better Analog Edition
Only Record to Feature Davis Original Sextet, Including Rhythm Section of Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones
Title Track Stands as First-Ever Modal Composition Even as Blues and Hard-Bop Flavors Make LP One of Davis Most Explosive Affairs
Sketches of Spain, Kind of Blue, Round About Midnight, Four & More, and In a Silent Way Also Available from Mobile Fidelity
Miles Davis created just one studio album with his original sextet. He made every moment count. Pairing with Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones, the trumpeter not only laid the groundwork for the modalism that immediately followed but tailored a genuine modern-jazz masterwork laden with performances among the most explosive of his distinguished career. Due to its sandwiched position between the more famous Round About Midnight and epochal Kind of Blue, Milestones remains, for too many music lovers, an overlooked classic.
Part of Mobile Fidelitys Miles Davis catalog restoration series, Milestones has been restored to mono for the first time as to expose the records standing as one of the all-time great jazz efforts.Mastered from the original master tapes and pressed at RTI, this unsurpassed 180g mono LP edition grants each musician their own space in a well-defined, broadened soundstage. Colors, shapes, and dimensions appear in the manner they do when beheld from behind a studio-control rooms window.
Davis burnished trumpet? Rendered in three-dimensional perspective, coaxing his mates out to play with unburdened zest and commotion. Coltranes trademark saxophone? Witness it in life-size proportion, his solos working in tandem with and against the driving rhythms. Garlands swaggering piano lines? Visualize the 88 keys as he hits full stride, the chords and fills slithering around skeletal frameworks.
If anything, Milestones is as famous for its title track as the players that produced it. The launching pad for many of Davis (and later, his contemporaries) improvisational flights, the singular piece invites the tessellated explorations Coltrane would forever chase as well as the headliners argyle solo work, who broaches territories that far exceed what he had done with his bop-rooted past. Every song is a highlight, whether its the bravado No Jackle, featuring a hot-foot pace and bebop strains, or Sids Ahead, which continues the albums blues theme while tossing around edgy harmonics and inside-out structures.
Then theres Straight, No Chaser, the absolutely definitive rendition of Thelonious Monks signature piece. Coltranes marbled playing pulls at the tunes lobed borders, Adderley takes liberty with solos, and Davis dances around his mates, at one point quoting When the Saints Go Marching In while demonstrating his knowledge of tradition and eye towards the future. A milestone if there ever was. And now, in resplendent mono.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Dr. Jackle
2. Sids Ahead
3. Two Bass Hit
5. Billy Boy
6. Straight, No Chaser$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl Mono LP - Sealed Buy Now
Miles Ahead (Soundtrack)The release of the movie MILES AHEAD, Don Cheadle's wildly entertaining and moving exploration of Miles Davis, will be accompanied by this new soundtrack featuring musical highlights from Miles' career and new recordings overseen by Grammy Award-winning jazz/hip-hop artist Robert Glasper.
This is a perfect primer on Davis' career for the new fan and a brilliant audio keepsake of the film for those who've studied his works inside and out. The album features 11 tracks from across Miles' catalogue from 1956 to 1981, select dialogue from the film featuring Cheadle in character, and five original compositions written, co-written, produced or performed exclusively for MILES AHEAD by Robert Glasper. These cues include "What's Wrong with That?" a jam that closes the movie imagining Cheadle as Miles playing in the present day with guest performers Glasper, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Gary Clark, Jr. and Esperanza Spalding; plus "Gone 2015," an end-credits song featuring guest verses from rapper Pharoahe Monch. Cheadle also pens new liner notes for the album discussing the selection and creation of the songs on the soundtrack.LP 1
1. Miles Ahead
2. Dialogue: It takes a long time...
3. So What
4. Taylor Made
5. Dialogue: Listen, you talk too goddamn much...
6. Seven Steps to Heaven
7. Dialogue: If you gonna tell a story...
8. Frelon Brun
9. Dialogue: Sometimes you have these thoughts...
10. Duran (Take 6)
1. Dialogue: You own my music...
2. Go Ahead John (part two C)
3. Black Satin
4. Dialogue: Be musical about this shit...
5. Prelude, Pt. 2
6. Dialogue: Y'all listening to them...
7. Junior's Jam
9. Back Seat Betty
10. Dialogue: I don't like the word jazz...
11. What's Wrong with That?
12. Gone 2015$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Miles In The SkyNumbered, Limited Edition
1968 Record Marks First Time Davis Uses Electric Piano, Bass, and Guitar: Second Half is Acoustic
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes: Seminal Proto-Fusion Effort Explodes With Color and Vibrancy
Final Effort With Davis' Classic Second Quintet Finds the Leader Looking to the Past and the Future
Miles in the Sky reflects the intriguing curiosities and rainbow possibilities suggested by the album cover. Miles Davis' fifth and final album with his classic second quintet is kaleidoscopic in sound, forward-looking in structure, and contextually grounded in approach. As the legendary leader's first venture into what would become fusion, it's historical for containing the premier appearances of electric piano, bass, and guitar on a Davis effort. Laden with rich textures and style-bridging elements, Mobile Fidelity's 45RPM pressing brings the aural magic into focus.
Mastered from the original master tapes and pressed on 180g vinyl at RTI, this collectable audiophile version of Miles in the Sky joins the ranks of eleven other essential Davis sets given supreme sonic and packaging treatment by Mobile Fidelity. Afforded the benefits provided by the record's wider grooves, Davis' burnished trumpet resounds with utmost clarity, and the soundstage seems to extend for days. Reference-caliber separation and imaging give each musician their own space, allowing every passage to come across without any sonic limitations.
The album's wide-open soundscapes soar. As do the fluid contributions of Davis' mates. Tony Williams' percussion, central to every composition here, transpires before your eyes. Herbie Hancock's piano hovers and fades with sublime purity. And George Benson, who sits on Paraphernalia, blows the equivalent of smoke rings with his bluesy guitar, which here takes on brilliant tonality and definition. The acoustic material that occupies the second half of the record is equally transparent and full-bodied.
Granted enhanced production and a greater field of audible information, Miles in the Sky can finally be perceived as belonging to the same upper echelon as Davis' ubiquitously acclaimed Nefertiti and Filles de Kilimanjaro--the albums that precede and follow, respectively, this watershed title. Commonly branded a transitional work, Miles in the Sky showcases Davis already at ease with electric instruments and eager to venture into uncharted territories. Doubling as organized jams and bridges between jazz and rock, both the rhythmically challenging Stuff and frisky Paraphernalia glancing toward the future while keeping solid footing in the past.
Similarly, so do Country Boy and Black Comedy. In his original review for jazz authority DownBeat, Larry Kart observes: Davis takes material from his earlier days and darkens its emotional tone. His opening phrase on 'Country Boy' recalls a fragment from his Summertime solo on the Porgy and Bess album, but here it is delivered with a vehemence that rejects the poignancy of the earlier performance. Even on 'Black Comedy,' his most straight ahead solo here, the orderly pattern of the past is displaced and fragmented.
Flavored with humor, bossa nova, country, and even ballroom phrases, the compositions on Miles in the Sky explodes with creativity, purpose, and color.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Stuff
3. Black Comedy
4. Country Son$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45RPM - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Relaxin' With The Miles Davis QuintetFeaturing John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones. The greatest small group in the history of jazz recorded at their peak in 1956. Featuring joyous, straight-ahead swinging and melodic improvisation, this is a near-perfect album. Contains 'If I Were A Bell,' 'It Could Happen To You,' 'I Could Write A Book' and several others.1. If I Were A Bell
2. You're My Everything
3. I Could Write A Book
5. It Could Happen To You
6. Woody'n You$21.99Vinyl LP Reissue - Sealed Buy Now
Great Jazz Standards (Pure Pleasure)Great Jazz Standards was recorded when Evans was red-hot from two successes with Miles Davis, Miles Ahead and Porgy And Bess.
Evans' signature brass choir is in place - creatively voiced, spaciously arranged, a supple, multi-coloured, sonically surprising counterpoint to a succession of superb soloists. The added bonus, for Evans' projects, is the foregrounding of saxophone and clarinet soloists Steve Lacy and Budd Johnson.
Lacy and the original swing-to-bop missing link, Johnson, are the ones who will make the hair on your neck curl. Lacy's solos on Monk's Straight No Chaser and John Lewis' Django must be some of the finest pre-free improvisations he recorded, already heading from quirky to out-there. Johnson's clarinet solo on Don Redman's spooky, swing-meets-whole tone classic, Chant Of The Weed, and slow-burning, stirring tenor solo on Evans' La Nevada are some of the finest the all-but-forgotten genius ever recorded. Trumpeter Johnny Coles, has the inevitable misfortune of being compared to Miles Davis and being found to be ... different. Sunny, open and extroverted, he may not be a stylist of Davis' proportions, but he's an enjoyable alternative foil for Evans' arrangements.
A magnificent but neglected album, and still coming up fresh as daisies.
- Budd Johnson (tenor saxophone, clarinet)
- Steve Lacy (soprano saxophone)
- Al Block (woodwinds)
- Johnny Coles, Allen Smith (trumpet)
- Jimmy Cleveland (trombone)
- Bill Barber (tuba)
- Gil Evans (piano)
- Chuck Wayne (guitar)
- Dick Carter (bass)
- Elvin Jones (drums)
Recording: February 1959
Production: Richard Bock
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.$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The MugicianGrammy Award winner, Keyon Harrold, one of the world's most sought-after genre-bending trumpeters, will release The Mugician via Legacy Recordings/Mass Appeal Records.
Long known as the artist's artist - he has worked with Maxwell, Common, BeyoncÉ, Jay-Z, Rihanna, Eminem and a long list of the world's top musical icons - The New York-based musician now takes center stage with a captivating LP that ponders the fears and frustrations of a divided country while yearning for justice and peace.
As the word "Mugician" is an impromptu hybrid of words, this album is an accumulation of Keyon's eclectic tastes, with stylistic twists and turns everywhere taking cues from jazz, hip-hop, blues, rock, reggae, and rap. The new LP features an all-star list of collaborators, including Gary Clark Jr., Big K.R.I.T., Bilal, Pharoahe Monch and Robert Glasper. From spiritual chants and soulful singing to bombastic expressions of frustration and melodic pleas for understanding, Keyon's arrangements color the different ways to hear the world in 2017.
If there are echoes of Miles Davis in Keyon's style and sound, it's no mere coincidence; Keyon played the trumpet sound of Don Cheadle playing Davis in his 2015 biopic Miles Ahead and on its Grammy-winning soundtrack. Don reflects on this and the birth of The Mugician, the nickname that came from that project, in the liner notes, which he contributed to the album.
Ferguson holds a large presence throughout The Mugician. The instrumental "MB Lament" is a tribute to Michael Brown as strings echo a smoking gun while the bass line repeats over and over, reminiscent of the frequency of gun violence and systemic police brutality. "When Will It Stop" answers the calling of "MB Lament" as actor and comedian Guy Torry, also from the St. Louis area, uses humor to confront bigotry, sexism, racism, and more while Keyon leads a driving groove. And on "Circus Show," Keyon and Gary Clark Jr. trade verses and hooks while trying to make sense of America's "Broken" newscast over the repeated phrase "What's going on?"
Themes of home and family loom large on The Mugician. With nine brothers and seven sisters, several of whom are also accomplished musicians, Keyon considers family essential; the album opener "Voicemail" features Keyon's own mother encouraging her son to stay true to himself and to never give up in the face of trials and tribulations. The Mugician is Keyon upholding his mother's wisdom.
Keyon Harrold has become one of the most sought-after trumpeters in the world having been featured on nearly 100 albums spanning jazz, R&B, pop, gospel, blues, and hip-hop. Harrold has recorded with the world's leading artists from Maxwell to Keith Richards and has toured with music's most bold-faced names including BeyoncÉ, Jay-Z, Rihanna, Common, Maxwell, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, D'Angelo and the Vanguard, and more. In 2016, Keyon released "Running (Refugee Song)" in collaboration with songwriting partner Andrea Pizziconi as part of their initiative Compositions for a Cause. The song, also featuring Grammy Award-winning rapper Common and Grammy Award-winning singer Gregory Porter was included on Billboard's list of "6 Songs Offering Hope & Perspective During Immigration Ban" this past January.
Legacy Recordings and Mass Appeal Records have combined their creative and marketing resources in a first-of-its-kind collaboration on behalf of Keyon Harrold's, The Mugician. "We couldn't be more proud of signing Keyon Harrold and of the album he's made," said Adam Block, President of Legacy Recordings."We're especially excited by the record's range of repertoire and the broadness of Keyon's appeal. Working with Mass Appeal, who've long been champions of Keyon's, exponentially expands our ability to reach fans with Key's music and the creativity and channels with which we'll do that."1. Voicemail (feat. Shirley Harrold)
2. The Mugician (feat. Josh David Barrett)
3. MB Lament
4. When Will It Stop? (feat. Guy Torry)
5. Wayfaring Traveler (feat. Jermaine Holmes, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Robert Glasper)
6. Stay This Way (feat. Bilal and Big K.R.I.T.)
8. Her Beauty Through My Eyes (feat. Pharoahe Monch)
9. Ethereal Souls
10. Broken News (feat. Andrea Pizziconi)
11. Circus Show (feat. Gary Clark Jr.)
12. Bubba Rides Again$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
On The CornerMiles Davis On the Corner on Numbered Limited Edition 180g LP from Mobile Fidelity
Get Down and Make It Funky: Miles Davis' Groundbreaking On the Corner Focuses on the Groove and Bottom End
Mastered From the Original Master Tapes: Mobile Fidelity 180g LP Reveals Multiple Levels of Rhythm, Visceral Bass, and Pioneering Production Techniques In Transparent Fashion
Exotic, Bold, Streetwise: Spirited 1972 Album Embraces Davis' Jungle Sound With Percussive Foundations, Trance Loops, and Transformational Arrangements
Miles Davis' boundlessly influential On the Corner was so far ahead of its time upon release in 1972, the jazz cognoscenti rejected its groundbreaking concoction as middling in nature. Yet time has a way of righting wrongs and shifting views by adding needed context and perspective to visionary ideas, music, and approaches - the likes of which fill Davis' boldest and most controversial - undertaking. Designed to bring the focus back on the groove and bottom-end frequencies, the funk-loaded On the Corner revolutionized jazz. It also set new standards for record production, presaging remixing and electronica by more than a decade. And the work has never sounded more thrilling.
Mastered from the original master tapes and pressed at RTI, Mobile Fidelity's numbered limited-edition 180g LP of On the Corner exposes the internal mechanisms, free-associated playing, and then-unmatched studio techniques in vivid audiophile-grade sonics. The low end, crucial to every composition here, is both heard and felt, with locked-in bass lines and low-range percussion conveyed as taut, solid, and visceral passages. You can even discern the multiple levels of rhythm Davis employed on complex tracks such as Black Satin, as On the Corner stands as his first effort to use overdubbing and multiple tape machines.
New degrees of spaciousness and airiness - equally important to the musique concrete arrangements - give the impression Davis and Co.'s creations float in space. Instruments are portrayed in three-dimensional manners, rhythmic loops retain tonal purity, and horn solos skitter across an extra-wide soundstage that takes listeners into Columbia's Studio E. Mobile Fidelity's analog version captures Teo Macero's innovative production - and the trumpeter's cutting-edge aural collages - in definitive fashion.
Heavily inspired by Sly and the Family Stone, On the Corner portrays street vibes and remains Davis' blackest-sounding record. The conscious attempt to connect with youthful audiences tapped into rock and funk is evident not only on the colorful cartoon cover art depicting hot-pants and zoot-suit revelers, but in the music's emphasis of recurring drum and bass grooves. Distinct from Davis' earlier fusion experiments, the record's long-misunderstood set dials back improvisation in favor of beats, loops, and atmospherics that generate trance-like effects. While Davis utilizes his band for core duties - Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock prominently figure - he also relies on an all-star cast of sidemen for concentrated soloing and additional support.
With rhythm providing the basic foundation, other notes fall into place, with their positioning steered by Macero and Davis' editing-room techniques. Looking to the manipulation-based work of Karlheinze Stockhausen and teaming with Stockhausen disciple Paul Buckmaster, Davis re-imagines what grooves constituted and could accomplish throughout On the Corner. The shapes of the songs become completely transformed as they progress. Faint melodies, spacey chords, chunky riffs, wah-wah fills, and repeated motifs bounce in and out of a sonic funhouse that wouldn't be out of place at a Harlem block party. Exotic, intrepid, and filled with Davis' jungle sound, On the Corner remains daringly hip more than four decades later.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. On the Corner/New York Girl/Thinkin' One Thing and Doin' Another/Vote for Miles
2. Black Satin
3. One and One
4. Helen Butte/Mr. Freedom X$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl
Featuring Herbie Hancock, John Mclaughlin, Lonnie Listen Smith, Chick Corea, Wayyne Shorter, Joe Zawinul And Many Others
Originally released in 1974, Big Fun presents music from three different phases of Miles Davis's early-seventies electric period.
Sides one and four (Great Expectations and Lonely Fire) were recorded three months after the Bitches Brew sessions and incorporate sitar, tambura, tabla, and other Indian instruments. They also mark the first time since the beginning of Miles Davis's electric period that he played his trumpet with the Harmon mute which had been one of his hallmarks, making it sound much like the sitar. This contributed to creating a very clear and lean sound, highlighting both the high and low registers, as opposed to the busier sound of Bitches Brew which placed more emphasis on the middle and low registers.
Ife was recorded after the 1972 On the Corner sessions, and the framework is similar to tracks from that record. It has a drum and electric bass groove and a plethora of musicians improvising individually and in combinations over variations on the hypnotic bassline.
Recorded in March 1970, Go Ahead John is an outtake from Davis's Jack Johnson sessions. The recording is a riff and groove-based, with a relatively sparser line-up of Steve Grossman on soprano saxophone, Dave Holland on bass, Jack DeJohnette on drums, and John McLaughlin on guitar with wah-wah pedal.LP 1
1. Great Expectations
1. Go Ahead John
2. Lonely Fire$39.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Bitches Brew (Awaiting Repress)Monumental 1970 Double Album is Signpost for Jazz Fusion: Psychedelic Record Still Sounds Ahead of Its Time More Than 40 Years Later
Otherworldly Sonics: Mobile Fidelity Delivers the Consummate Pressing of the Uncompromising Work Ranked by Rolling Stone as Among the Greatest 100 Albums of All Time
Grammy Award-Winning Set Ignores Convention, Pursues Funk and Rock Directions Via Innovative Rhythms and Groundbreaking Ensemble Configurations
A Dozen Five-Star Miles Davis Albums Spanning 1958-1971 Available from Mobile Fidelity on Definitive-Sounding LP
"Listen to This." As the original working title for Bitches Brew, the invitation resonates as the best way to approach a record that shattered conventions, altered music history, and still sounds far ahead of its time. The aural Mount Rushmore of jazz fusion, Bitches Brew is rightly ranked by virtually every significant press outlet among the 100 greatest albums ever made in any genre.
Sewn together with vibrant colors, voodoo textures, and ethereal moods, the 1970 landmark emerges with supreme detail and nonpareil feeling on Mobile Fidelity's definitive 180g 2LP. Mastered from the original master tapes, these audiophile editions join the ranks of eleven other essential Davis sets given supreme sonic treatment by Mobile Fidelity.
Davis conceived Bitches Brew by having the musicians stand in a semi-circle, where he pointed at them with vague directions for tempo, solos, and cues. The collective improvisation and interplay spawned a galaxy of melodies and grooves later spliced together by producer Ted Macero. Here, these distinct creations take shape with utmost realism.
Mobile Fidelity's reissues envelop you in expansive warm tonal blankets.
Gathering a Hall of Fame-worthy lineup of musicians, Davis follows through on his idea to "put together the greatest rock and roll band you ever heard" on Bitches Brew. The vast psychedelic expanses of warped echoes, liquid reverb, and tape loops speak to the leader's ambitious contrasts of light and dark, fear and hope. Yet the most absolute characteristic of this watershed effort lies in how it encourages free thought-the very principle with which Davis
conceived the everlasting beauty that is Bitches Brew.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Pharaoh's Dance
2. Bitches Brew
3. Spanish Key
4. John McLaughlin
5. Miles Runs the Voodoo Down
6. Sanctuary$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
My Funny Valentine (Awaiting Repress)Numbered, Limited Edition
Historic Recording Captures Elegant Ballads Performed at February 1964 Concert
Audiophile Reference-Standard Sound: Album Boasts Lifelike Tones, Balances, Images, and Ambience
Davis Taps Divine Inspiration: Compositions Marked by Deep Emotions, Spontaneous Brilliance, Sensitive Beauty, and Sublime Poignancy
Miles Davis' My Funny Valentine marks several historic turning points. For Davis, the live album represents the final time on record he'd perform standards rather than original compositions. It also stands as one of the last documents made by the same band that created Seven Steps of Heaven. As such, the work teems with bebop melodicism yet steers clear of Davis' oft-controversial avant-garde leanings. Most significantly, however, the set captures the ballads performed at a benefit concert from New York's then-new Philharmonic Hall just months after President Kennedy's assassination. Tapping into a seemingly divine inspiration, Davis never sounded so elegant or poetic.
Boasting gorgeous sound and pressed on 180g LP at RTI, Mobile Fidelity's choice reissue of the trumpeter's scintillating work bookends the label's release of Four & More from the same show and features similar enhancements relating to depth, presence, dynamics, clarity, and ambience. Presented in reference-standard fidelity, the record boasts balances, tonalities, and airiness that duplicate the experience of witnessing live jazz in an acoustically ideal hall. The images of each individual instrument, the decay of the notes, the inner reaches of the piano, and symmetry of the horns-all are rendered with palpable detail. This is the very definition of reach-out-and-touch-it realism.
Staged as a benefit to support voter registration in the South, the February concert came amidst the height of the Civil Rights movement, a cause dear to Davis' heart. Yet unforeseen circumstances raised the stakes. Having professed his admiration for Kennedy years prior, Davis appears to approach the compositions on My Funny Valentine (and, in particular, the title track) as homage to the fallen leader, a collective soliloquy comprised of pieces shot through with deeply emotional passages, spontaneous brilliance, sensitive beauty, and sublime poignancy. Elegiac moods permeate the performances; Davis and his Harmon mute paint with intricate brushstrokes.
Pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams are their leader's equal, and would continue with Davis until later in the decade, helping form what's now known as the "second great quintet." But the secret weapon on both My Funny Valentine and its sister Four & More arrives in the form of tenor saxophonist George Coleman, whom jazz experts Brian Morton and Richard Cook deem "one of the unsung heroes of modern jazz." His lines are subtle and sophisticated, straight ahead but capable of unanticipated direction, and here, he comes into his own. As does the entire band.
Indeed, the combination of introspective chemistry, lyrical reach, and telepathic communication demonstrated by the quintet on My Funny Valentine arguably exceeds that on any of Davis' myriad other live efforts. One listen confirms something special transpiring, and on this Mobile Fidelity reissue, those properties are rendered in a manner that's as transparent to the source as humanly possible. Do not miss this.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. My Funny Valentine
2. All of You
3. Stella By Starlight
4. All Blues
5. I Thought About You$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Swing, Swang, Swingin' (Discontinued)Prior to 1959, Jackie McLean was an important young Turk whose sharp tone and intense style on alto grew out of Charlie Parker yet were very much his own. Growing up in New York, his neighbors included such friends as Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins. By 1951 he was recording with Miles Davis and other associations in the 1950s included Charles Mingus and two years with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. But all of that was a prelude to his recording 21 brilliant, explorative and frequently explosive albums for Blue Note during 1959-67. While McLean became one of the first jazz musicians of his generation to stretch beyond hard bop into freer explorations inspired by Ornette Coleman, Swing, Swang, Swingin' is a straight ahead affair in which he mostly puts his stamp on standards. Few versions of Let's Face The Music And Dance and I Love You have ever had this much intensity and, when McLean digs into the ballad What's New, he gives it a fiery passion that had never been heard before. Jackie McLean not only swings and swangs but he burns with the urgency, agony and ecstasy of the 1960s.
- Remastered from the Original Rudy Van Gelder Blue Note Master Tapes!
- Remastered by Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman at Acoustech
- Cut at 45rpm for Better Sound!
- Pressed on two 180 gram Virgin Vinyl LPs by RTI
- Limited Edition
- Ultra-Durable, Extra Thick Album Jackets
- Gatefold Album with Session Photos in stunning High Resolution
- Jackie McLean, alto saxophone
- Walter Bishop Jr., piano
- Jimmy Garrison, bass
- Art Taylor, drums
This title is not eligible for discount.1. What's New
2. Let's Face the Music and Dance
3. Stable Mates
4. I'll Remember You
5. I Love You
6. I'll Take Romance
7. 116th and Lenox$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl 45 RPM LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Betty Davis (Awaiting Repress)One can hardly imagine the genre-busting, culture-crossing musical magic of Outkast, Prince, Erykah Badu, Rick James, The Roots, or even the early Red Hot Chili Peppers without the influence of R&B pioneer Betty Davis. Her style of raw and revelatory punk-funk defies any notions that women can't be visionaries in the worlds of rock and pop. In recent years, rappers from Ice Cube to Talib Kweli to Ludacris have rhymed over her intensely strong but sensual music.
There is one testimonial about Betty Davis that is universal: she was a woman ahead of her time. In our contemporary moment, this may not be as self-evident as it was thirty years ago - we live in an age that's been profoundly changed by flamboyant flaunting of female sexuality: from Parlet to Madonna, Lil Kim to Kelis. Yet, back in 1973 when Betty Davis first showed up in her silver go-go boots, dazzling smile and towering Afro, who could you possibly have compared her to? Marva Whitney had the voice but not the independence. Labelle wouldn't get sexy with their "Lady Marmalade" for another year while Millie Jackson wasn't "Feelin' Bitchy" until 1977. Even Tina Turner, the most obvious predecessor to Betty's fierce style wasn't completely out of Ike's shadow until later in the decade.
Ms. Davis's unique story, still sadly mostly unknown, is unlike any other in popular music. Betty wrote the song "Uptown" for the Chambers Brothers before marrying Miles Davis in the late '60s, influencing him with psychedelic rock, and introducing him to Jimi Hendrix - personally inspiring the classic album 'Bitches Brew.'
But her songwriting ability was way ahead of its time as well. Betty not only wrote every song she ever recorded and produced every album after her first, but the young woman penned the tunes that got The Commodores signed to Motown. The Detroit label soon came calling, pitching a Motown songwriting deal, which Betty turned down. Motown wanted to own everything. Heading to the UK, Marc Bolan of T. Rex urged the creative dynamo to start writing for herself. A common thread throughout Betty's career would be her unbending Do-It-Yourself ethic, which made her quickly turn down anyone who didn't fit with the vision. She would eventually say no to Eric Clapton as her album producer, seeing him as too banal.
In 1973, Davis would finally kick off her cosmic career with an amazingly progressive hard funk and sweet soul self-titled debut. Davis showcased her fiercely unique talent and features such gems as "If I'm In Luck I Might Get Picked Up" and "Game Is My Middle Name." The album Betty Davis was recorded with Sly & The Family Stone's rhythm section, sharply produced by Sly Stone drummer Greg Errico, and featured backing vocals from Sylvester and the Pointer Sisters.1. If I'm In Luck I Might Get Picked Up
2. Walkin Up The Road
3. Anti Love Song
4. Your Man My Man
5. Ooh Yeah
6. Steppin In Her I. Miller Shoes
7. Game Is My Middle Name
8. In The Meantime$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Seeds From The UndergroundOver the course of a stellar career that has spanned more than 30 years, saxophonist Kenny Garrett has become the preeminent alto saxophonist of his generation. From his first gig with the Duke Ellington Orchestra (led by Mercer Ellington) through his time spent with musicians such as Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers and Miles Davis, Garrett has always brought a vigorous yet melodic, and truly distinctive, alto saxophone sound to each musical situation. As a bandleader for the last two decades, he has also continually grown as a composer. With his latest recording (and second for Mack Avenue Records), Seeds From The Underground, Garrett has given notice that these qualities have not only become more impressive, but have provided him with the platform to expand his horizons and communicate his musical vision clearly. Seeds From The Underground is a powerful return to the straight-ahead, acoustic and propulsive quartet format that showcases Garrett's extraordinary abilities.
For Garrett, Seeds From The Underground is a special recording. It once again consists of all original compositions, and is truly an homage to those who have inspired and influenced him, both personally and musically. "All of these songs are dedicated to someone," says Garrett. "And the 'seeds' have been planted, directly or indirectly, by people who have been instrumental in my development."
With Seeds From The Underground Garrett has crafted a project that offers his appreciation while always making the listener aware of his band's skillful approach to melody, harmony and rhythm. From personal nods such as the opening track "Boogety Boogety," dedicated to his memory of watching western films with his father (the title refers to the sound of a galloping horse); "Wiggins," which references his high school band director Bill Wiggins; and "Detroit," an evocative, reflective composition about his hometown, and a celebration of mentor Marcus Belgrave; to his appreciation of some of his musical heroes on "J Mac" (Jackie McLean); "Haynes Here" (Roy Haynes); and "Do Wo Mo" (Duke Ellington, Woody Shaw and Thelonious Monk).
Melody, as a matter of fact, was a key element for the saxophonist when writing for the recording. "I wanted to focus on the melody," Garrett reflects. "I want people to remember what the melody is before we start improvising and on some songs I heard voices, the singing of the melody." This latter point is in evidence on the selections "Haynes Here," "Detroit" and "Welcome Earth Song."
Another notable component compositionally for Garrett on Seeds From The Underground is his approach to rhythm and meter. Over the past few years, one of the most popular and acclaimed groups that he has been a part of is the GRAMMY® award winning Five Peace Band, joining guitarist John McLaughlin, pianist Chick Corea, bassist Christian McBride, and drummers Vinnie Colaiuta and Brian Blade. His participation in that band led him to experiment with writing in different meters. "Some of these songs are in odd meters; in my experience with John, we played some songs in odd meters, so I thought, this is a different way of writing songs," Garrett states. "So there is some of that approach here."
Garrett's current working band is very much up to the task on Seeds From The Underground. And like all successful bandleaders, Garrett knows what he wants musically and has formed a band that will best communicate his message (with implicit trust among one another). Bassist Nat Reeves is a rhythmic anchor and a long-standing member of Garrett's past aggregations. However, for this recording, Garrett thought a lot about the talents of fellow Detroiter, drummer Ronald Bruner, as well as Venezuelan pianist Benito Gonzalez. "When I decided I wanted to do the album, I had Ronald in mind; I thought that he would work well on these songs. And Benito has been in my band for a while, and we talked conceptually about how I hear the piano in the band. McCoy Tyner is my man, so I wanted to have more of that sound, and there aren't a lot of young guys around who are dealing with that like Benito is." Percussionist Rudy Bird also provides a driving, rhythmic pulse to the recording.
A very important contributor to Seeds From The Underground is the project's co-producer: pianist, composer and educator, Donald Brown. His friendship with Garrett goes back to their days with Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers. He has been an integral part of past Garrett recordings, and has been a musical inspiration for him. "I feel comfortable in the studio with him and I know he's going to hear what I hear, because we think alike in how we hear music," states Garrett. "I've also always admired his compositions and he was really inspired by these compositions, so he was glad that we were able to hook back up on this project."
Garrett has always expressed interest in music from other parts of the world. Whether it's Africa, Greece, Indonesia, China or Guadeloupe, he immerses himself in the culture and gleans from his experience something that becomes a part of his artistic message. On Seeds From The Underground, the African-influenced "Welcome Earth Song" and "Laviso, I Bon?" (the latter was inspired by a musician friend in Guadeloupe) are prime examples.
The album highlights Garrett's overall approach to music: wide-ranging, receiving ideas from all musical sources and genres. Garrett states, "I love the challenge of trying to stay open about music and about life. If it's music, I just try to check it out. Right now I'm listening to some music from Martinique and I'm lovin' it. If I like it, maybe I can incorporate some of it into what I do." As for composing: "I don't try to control what I write," he says. "Music comes from 'The Creator.' It's a gift that's coming in, and I receive it. I write in all genres, and I'm writing all the time. It's never about what it is I just say thank you."
Seeds From The Underground is the latest stop on what continues to be a fascinating musical journey for Kenny Garrett and his listeners. It's a recording that is not only a significant personal statement from the saxophonist, but a musical declaration of his continued growth as a musician, and in particular, as a composer.1. Boogety Boogety
2. J. Mac
4. Haynes Here
6. Seeds from the Underground
8. Welcome Earth Song
9. Ballad Jarrett
10. Laviso, I Bon?$27.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
WomanchildWhen CÉcile McLorin Salvant arrived at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC to compete in the finals of the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, she was not only the youngest finalist, but also a mystery woman with the most unusual background of any of the participants. When she walked away with first place in the jazz world's most prestigious contest, the buzz began almost immediately. If anything, it has intensified in the months leading up to the launch of her Mack Avenue Records debut, WomanChild.
"She has poise, elegance, soul, humor, sensuality, power, virtuosity, range, insight, intelligence, depth and grace," Wynton Marsalis asserts. "I've never heard a singer of her generation who has such a command of styles," remarks pianist Aaron Diehl. "She radiates authority," critic Ben Ratliff wrote in The New York Times in response to one of her post-competition performances, and a few weeks later his colleague Stephen Holden announced that "Ms. McLorin Salvant has it all.... If anyone can extend the lineage of the Big Three-Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald-it is this 23-year-old virtuoso."
Yet at almost every step of the way, McLorin Salvant has followed a different path from her peers. Born in Miami to a French mother and Haitian father, McLorin Salvant's first language was French. She immersed herself in the classical music tradition, long before she turned to jazz-starting on piano at age five and joining the Miami Choral Society at age eight. When it came time for college, McLorin Salvant bypassed all the US conservatories and jazz schools, heading instead to Aix-en-Provence in France, where she continued to develop as a singer, but with an emphasis on classical and baroque vocal music as well as jazz.
There, thousands of miles away from jazz's land of origin, McLorin Salvant entered into a fruitful partnership with reed player and teacher Jean-François Bonnel, first as a student and soon as a performer. Before returning to the US, she gave concerts in Paris, recorded with Bonnel's quintet, and immersed herself in the early jazz and blues vocal tradition. By the time she returned to her home country to take the stage in the Monk Competition, she had drawn on this unusual set of formative experiences in shaping a personal style of jazz singing, surprising and dramatic by turns, and very much in contrast to that of the other participants and McLorin Salvant's contemporaries.
In the aftermath of McLorin Salvant's triumph at the Monk Competition, the jazz world eagerly awaited the winner's first US recording. Answering that call with WomanChild, McLorin Salvant draws on songs spanning three centuries of American music. "I like to choose songs that are a little unknown or have been recorded very few times," McLorin Salvant notes. "While these songs aren't recognized as standards, many should be because they are so beautifully crafted."
On the album, her repertoire ranges from the 19th century ballad "John Henry," refreshed in a spirited up-to- date arrangement, to McLorin Salvant's own 21st century waltz "Le Front CachÉ Sur Tes Genoux" which draws on a poem by Haitian writer Ida Salomon Faubert for its lyric. She is joined by a world class band who share her concern for creating jazz of today by drawing on vibrant traditions of the past: pianist Aaron Diehl and bassist Rodney Whitaker (both of whom are Mack Avenue label mates), guitarist James Chirillo and master drummer Herlin Riley.
The old and new rub shoulders throughout this album, but this singer's attitude is neither beholden to the past nor trying to anticipate the trends of the future. Her captivating singing is immersed in the immediacy of the present moment. So much so, that those who have seen McLorin Salvant in concert marvel at how she radiates the confidence and poise of a mature artist even though she is just at the dawn of her own career.
McLorin Salvant may have the deepest roots of any singer of her generation. She knows the sounds and styles of modern jazz but also possesses complete command of the classic blues and early American vocal tradition. She has studied the entire recorded legacy of the great Bessie Smith (1894-1937), often called the Empress of the Blues, and also has deep familiarity with Valaida Snow, Bert Williams and other early masters of American music. For her, these musicians are exponents of living traditions that she has drawn into the orbit of her own work.
However, McLorin Salvant can't be pinned down as a jazz traditionalist. Alongside fellow Monk Competition winner Jacky Terrasson, she has recorded works by John Lennon/Yoko Ono and Erik Satie, and can sing in French, Spanish or English as the mood and situation warrant. Knowledgeable jazz fans will identify the influence and inspiration from some of the most distinctive modern jazz stylists, such as Betty Carter, Carmen McRae and Abbey Lincoln. She is also currently continuing her studies of the classical and baroque tradition. In short, McLorin Salvant is a seeker and a creative spirit who is determined to push ahead, even while she shows an extraordinary command of the tradition that has preceded her.
In his article in The New York Times, critic Stephen Holden listed some of the virtues of McLorin Salvant's singing: "perfect pitch and enunciation, a playful sense of humor, a rich and varied tonal palette, a supple sense of swing, exquisite taste in songs and phrasing, and a deep connection to lyrics." Her musical skills are considerable, but they are matched by an interpretive ability that is almost more akin to an actor's than a singer's. She draws out the story hidden inside the song, and can draw on the elements of her own personality and a full gamut of emotional stances-from the darkly troubling to the richly comic-in bringing lyrics to life.
"I want to get as close to the center of the song as I can," McLorin Salvant explains. "When I find something beautiful and touching I try to get close to it, and share that with the audience."
On WomanChild, McLorin Salvant gives music lovers the chance to hear why the illustrious judges at the Monk Competition gave her top honors. McLorin Salvant is still a bit of a mystery, but she will hardly be a secret any longer.1. St. Louis Gal
2. I Didn't Know What Time It Was
5. Prelude/There's A Lull In My Life
6. You Bring Out The Savage In Me
7. Baby Have Pity On Me
8. John Henry
9. Jitterbug Waltz
10. What A Little Moonlight Can Do
11. Deep Dark Blue$35.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now