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Monk's Dream is the first album jazz musician Thelonious Monk released on Columbia Records. It was recorded in 4 days in autumn 1962 and issued a year later. The Thelonious Monk Quartet consisted of Monk (piano), Charlie Rouse (tenor sax), John Ore (bass), and Frankie Dunlop (drums). Jazz scholars and enthusiasts alike also heralded this combo as the best Monk had been involved with for several years. Although he would perform and record supported by various other musicians, the tight dimensions that these four shared has rarely been equaled in any genre.
On tracks such as Five Spot Blues and Bolivar Blues, Rouse and Dunlop demonstrate their uncanny abilities by squeezing in well-placed instrumental fills, while never getting hit by the unpredictable rhythmic frisbees being tossed about by Monk. Augmenting the six quartet recordings are two solo sides: Just a Gigolo and Body and Soul. Most notable about Monk's solo work is how much he retained the same extreme level of intuition throughout the nearly two decades that separate these recordings from his initial renderings in the late '40s.1. Monk 's Dream
2. Body And Soul
3. Sweet Georgia Brown
4. Five Spot Blues
5. Bolivar Blues
6. Just A Gigolo
8. Sweet And Lovely$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Monk's Dream is the Columbia Records debut release featuring the Thelonious Monk Quartet: Monk (piano), Charlie Rouse (tenor sax), John Ore (bass), and Frankie Dunlop (drums). Jazz scholars and enthusiasts alike also heralded this combo as the best Monk had been involved with for several years. Although he would perform and record supported by various other musicians, the tight -- almost telepathic -- dimensions that these four shared has rarely been equalled in any genre... Monk's Dream is recommended, with something for every degree of Monk enthusiast.
- Lindsay Planer, Allmusic.com1. Monk's Dream
2. Body And Soul
3. Bright Mississippi
4. Five Spot Blues
5. Bolivar Blues
6. Just A Gigolo
8. Sweet And Lovely
9. Monk's Dream (Original Version)*
*Bonus Track$27.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
It's Monk's Time (Speakers Corner)With its three compositions by Thelonious Monk, one might call this LP from 1964 "3 Standards and 3 Monks". The 'High Priest' of bebop had reached a further pinnacle in his career and performed with his fantastic, skilful and well-rehearsed quartet at numerous festivals and concerts. As if in a dream, the musicians penetrate the apparently simple yet rhythmically complicated themes, interrupted again and again by Monk's solo escapades on the piano. On the stage, Monk often stood up and jigged around the piano like a lumbering dancing bear, with one of his distinctive hats on his head; he plonks down on the piano stool after the Charlie Rouse solo; his enormous feet tap back and forth to the beat; he constantly fiddles with the ring on his finger; and he creates the most wonderful improvisations ever heard with his 'false' fingering.
Calling all jazz fans: Listen to Thelonious Monk, and you will have a ball - most especially if you put this super disc with the promising title "It's Monks Time" on your turntable!
- Thelonious Monk (piano)
- Charlie Rouse (tenor saxophone)
- Butch Warren (bass)
- Ben Riley (drums)
- Teo Macero (producer)
Recording: January - March 1964
Production: Teo Macero
About Speakers Corner
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, Speakers Corner 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 existant 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 emphasise that Speakers Corner 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 have one digital recording in our catalogue (Alan Parsons / Eye In The Sky"), but even in this particular case we used the analogue tapes for cutting.
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 - excluding the exception above - and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.1. Lulu's Back In Town
2. Memories Of You
3. Stuffy Turkey
4. Brake's Sake
5. Nice Work If You Can Get It
6. Shuffle Soil$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
CongratsA cyborg dance party for a broken future that's closer
than you think - Pitchfork
Off Your Face Euphoria - The Line of Best Fit
hypnotic, electronic climax-rock - SPIN
scuzzy, funk-fuelled energy - FACT Mag
Holy Fuck took the world by surprise around 2005 because there was
just nothing like them-a hardcore thrift-store found-object punk
band with a relentless commitment to rhythm and a sense for
atmosphere better matched to a close encounter of the third kind
than a simple rock concert. Think EinstÜrzende Neubauten re-inspired
by Fela Kuti with Brian Eno working as keyboard tech and every
channel on the mixer set to max power. It was the best ride out there
while it lasted, up to and including their 2010 full-length Latin,
recorded largely in too-brief breaks while on the road. That album
cemented Holy Fuck's sound and reputation for unapologetic
instrumental noise but at the end of yet another insane touring cycle,
it was time to take a break which turned into a hiatus which turned
into a chance to explore other projects and production work. (Like the
bands Lids, Dusted and Etiquette, or production for Metz, Alvvays and
They'd been moving faster than they'd ever expected, especially after
a 2007 sophomore release that came close to securing Canada's
prestigious Juno and Polaris Music Prize. (Not to mention festival slots
at All Tomorrow's Parties, Glastonbury, Coachella and more-plus Lou
Reed said they were the best band he'd seen at SXSW.) The strategy
was just to stay busy, says founder and noisemaster Brian Borcherdt,
but soon they started to feel like Indiana Jones running from that
boulder: "He had to step aside and let things settle!"
But there's nothing Indiana Jones does better than the shock reveal, is
there? And so in 2016 Holy Fuck suddenly announced the release of
Congrats, a surprise full-length two years in the making that is by any
scientific measure their holiest fuckiest release ever: "When you're
sitting still in a van and staring out the windows, you start to dream
about all the other things you want to do," says Borcherdt. "This album
is exactly what we couldn't do then."
Checking into a "proper" studio, rather than the barn in rural Ontario
where most of Holy Fuck's records were made, Congrats was
recorded by the same lineup that recorded Latin: Borcherdt, Graham
Walsh, Matt "Punchy" McQuaid, and Matt Schulz. As they worked, they
discovered that Congrats was a process of refining things, Walsh
says-both physically and philosophically. Their ad hoc arsenal of
low-budget hi-tech toys has been streamlined down to what he calls
the nervous system of the band: "What gets run through our system is
the seed of the idea for our music, and the system is what we play. This
record is almost a beginning-the first stage of a new way for us."
So consider those previous albums prelude to Holy Fuck's true
breakthrough, and recognize Congrats as the moment when Holy
Fuck take the chaos and craziness (and charm) that have always been
at the heart of their band and not so much control it as concentrate it.
Now they're heavier, wilder, leaner, sharper, more daring and more
unpredictable than ever before, on fire with the power of inspired
outsiders like Suicide, Silver Apples, Can, Mission of Burma or the
Monks or even Sun Ra, says Borcherdt, whose pursuit of his own kind
of musical purity is exactly what Holy Fuck are after. Yes, it took them
a few years, which in 2016 is supposed to be the career suicide, but
they took that time to take chances. "We were told we did everything
wrong," Borcherdt says now, laughing-but really Congrats is the
sound of a band doing absolutely everything right.1. Chimes Broken
2. Tom Tom
4. Xed Eyes
5. Neon Dad
6. House Of Glass
10. Crapture$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Paris 1969Blue Note Records has announced Thelonious Monk Paris 1969, a fascinating and important late-career document of the legendary jazz pianist and composer in performance with his Quartet at the Salle Pleyel concert hall in Paris, France on December 15, 1969. Beautifully captured on B&W film, the concert also featured a surprise guest appearance from renowned drummer Philly Joe Jones. Also included is a rare on-camera interview with Monk that was conducted by the French bassist Jacques Hess after the concert.
"The 1969 Paris concert captures the power and the undiminished beauty of Monk's music, reminding us that even as his body aged his musical imagination knew no limits," writes Monk scholar Robin Kelley in his liner notes essay. However, Kelley also illuminates what a peculiar and challenging moment 1969 was for the 52-year-old pianist. Monk hadn't achieved true success until the late-50s with his legendary run at the Five Spot CafÉ in New York City with John Coltrane (a band that was brilliantly captured on the lost recording Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall from 1957 which was discovered and released on Blue Note in 2005). By the early-60s Monk's success had peaked when he signed with Columbia Records and was eventually featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in 1964.
However, by 1969, in addition to health issues, Monk's success was beginning to wane with the emergence of rock and the resulting jazz fusion movement. His recording contract with Columbia had just come to end after an ill-advised attempt at marketing him to a younger rock audience. That disappointment was followed by the departure of drummer Ben Riley and bassist Larry Gales from his band which left Monk with two chairs to fill on short notice before his European tour.
Monk eventually found two young musicians - bassist Nate Hygelund and drummer Paris Wright - to fill out the Quartet with his longtime tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse. Luckily the inexperienced rhythm section had some time to gel before hitting the stage in Paris with a lengthy engagement in London followed by stops in Germany and Italy. By the time they reached the Pleyel the band was in fine form, which made for a triumphant return for Monk to the very stage he had made his Parisian debut on in 1954 in front of a hostile audience who felt that Monk was too avant-garde. 15 years later the situation could not have been more different with an enthusiastic audience and the concert being broadcast on television.
In addition to rollicking Quartet versions of Monk classics such as "I Mean You," "Straight No Chaser," and "Blue Monk," the set also includes three stunning solo piano performances on "Don't Blame Me," "I Love You Sweetheart Of All My Dreams," and "Crepuscule With Nellie." However, an undeniable highlight of the concert was when the veteran drummer Philly Joe Jones who was an expat living in Paris at the time comes from backstage to borrow the sticks from the 17-year-old Wright, providing a palpable spark on Monk's "Nutty."1. I Mean You
2. Ruby My Dear
3. Straight No Chaser
4. Bright Mississippi
5. Light Blue
7. Don't Blame Me
8. I Love You Sweetheart of All My Dreams
9. Crepuscule With Nellie
10. Bright Mississippi
12. Blue Monk$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Limited To 500
I'm at a loss to name any bands that Old Smokey sounds like. Old Smokey is a dark, gypsy/Middle Eastern, folk collision. It's a mixture of string and woodwind instruments unlike any I've seen. - Mark Ellers, Athens Banner Herald
Old Smokey's instrumental tune Leggy, is a pleasant, wandering thing, a nice little taste of the band's upcoming full-length, reportedly titled Wester Easter. - Gabe Vodicka, Flagpole Magazine
Local weavers of the string dream known as Old Smokey have finished their debut record, titled Wester Easter and may we say, it's an ear tickling treasure for sure. - Zeke Sayer, Gypsy Farm
Old Smokey is a unique five piece ensemble featuring Jim Willingham on banjo, Jason Trahan on lap steel, John Fernandes on violin/clarinet/bass clarinet, Jacob Morris on cello, and Rob Lomax on drums. Their quixotic and sometimes haunting sound has developed organically; the way the instrumentation of the band blends is both complementary and evocative. This distinctive unit began playing together over two years ago. Old Smokey's first full-length album, Wester Easter will be released on Cloud Recordings.
Wester Easter covers a wide span of musical influences, but retains a coherent sound, all its own. Some of the songs capture an Ennio Morricone spaghetti-western influence, while others take on an East Indian psychedelic palette not unlike some of the wanderings of Erkin Koray, or a lost Bollywood soundtrack from the seventies. Dead Man's Pose, a chant-y upbeat scorcher, is grounded in something akin to a New Orleans second line structure. There are a few numbers on Wester Easter that seem to be channeling the tumbleweed landscapes of The Sons of Pioneers, or the smoky country of a Roger Miller ballad. There's even a bit of a rock n' roll stomp or Velvets' rattle to numbers such as All the Way Slow -- but it's almost as if the band got lost in Appalachia on the way to the sock hop. John Fernandes, Cloud Recordings' main-man, and Old Smokey's violin and clarinet player, has approximated sonic references for Old Smokey: Fans of Bruce Langhorne, Abner Jay, Bollywood steel guitar music, and The Monks will surely dig our hard to describe sound.
Despite a wide adventurous berth, Wester Easter is not the soundtrack of a flippant genre-jumping band. Throughout the album, their strong, sonorous mark is consistently there, as the instruments blend, swirl, and crescendo, then break down, from time to time, into the spidery banjo, drums, and plucked-cello skeletal substructure. Led by Jim's reedy lead vocal, spinning narratives or spilling out constellations of imagery, the whole band often joins, in chorus, to create layered harmonies or group chants.
Old Smokey is compiled of veterans of the Athens music scene. Members have played with bands such as The Olivia Tremor Control, Circulatory System, Vic Chesnutt, Ham1, Moths, Madeline, The Good Ship, and The New Sound of Numbers, to name just a few of their past and current projects.1. Dead Man's Post
2. The Transylvania Effect
3. You're Always Gonna Be Able To Get One More
4. All The Way Slow
5. The Whistler's Song
6. Freedom Cowboy
7. Wester Easter
8. Transylvania Link
9. Everyday I'm Building A Fool
11. Vacant Lot
13. Mapache$13.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Volume 2A Blue Note essential, Sonny Rollins' Volume 2 is part of the Blue Note 75 anniversary vinyl reissue campaign -
featuring 100 titles. Key to the initiative is high quality audio at affordable prices. Album features performances
recorded in 1960.
Outside of Paul Chambers, who was employed as Miles Davis's bassist at this time, all of the other players on these April 1957 RVG Hackensack dates were leaders of their own renowned groups; a reflection of the respect they all shared for the date leader, Sonny Rollins. Besides Chambers, with J.J. Johnson on trombone, Art Blakey behind the drums and alternating pianists Thelonious Monk and Horace Silver, who both play on the now-famous version of Misterioso, the words All-Star seem almost demeaning to this conclave.
The resulting recordings burst forth with confidence and enthusiasm, capturing a fire and passion usually found only with uninhibited live dates and not the constraints of a recording studio. Exceptional versions of Poor Butterfly and You Stepped Out Of a Dream elevate this record to monumental status.1. Why Don't I?
2. Wail March
5. You Stepped Out Of A Dream
6. Poor Butterfly$19.99Vinyl LP Reissue - Sealed Buy Now
Open BookFred Hersch has long been acclaimed as an exploratory artist, an outspoken activist, an influential educator and a uniquely revelatory and lyrical pianist. As one of the most expressive voices in modern jazz, Hersch has never been shy about letting listeners glimpse his most intimate thoughts and emotions. In September, however, Hersch's fans will be treated to even deeper, more revealing insights into the story of the renowned pianist when he publishes his much-anticipated memoir, Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life In and Out of Jazz. As a companion piece, Hersch decided to present an equally direct and vulnerable glimpse into his private musical thoughts with his 11th solo release, Open Book.
The seven pieces on Open Book (set for release via Palmetto Records) offer some of the finest, most unguardedly emotional solo music that Hersch has created in a career unique for its profound poignancy and passion. Recorded in a South Korean concert hall on a superb Hamburg Steinway concert grand piano, the album captures the vital essence of the revelatory adventurousness and intense beauty that have made Hersch one of the most important solo artists in jazz. With more than 40 albums to his credit as a leader or co-leader, Hersch remarkably continues to discover new areas of inspiration and depths of feeling.
For the last two and a half decades I've been pretty open about who I am, what I like and what I'm dealing with at times, Hersch says. But I've always got to dig deeper, and I thought this might be a chance to make an album that's a window into the kinds of things that I play at home or don't play in public all that much.
The album arrives during a momentous month for Hersch. On September 12, the esteemed publishers Crown Archetype (Penguin Random House) will release Good Things Happen Slowly, Hersch's bravely confessional memoir. The book covers the pianist's meteoric rise in jazz from his sideman days alongside masters like Art Farmer and Joe Henderson to his gradual recognition as one of the most individualistic and innovative artists of his generation, a ten-time Grammy Award nominee and winner of countless accolades including being named a 2016 Doris Duke Artist as well as the same year's Jazz Journalists Association Pianist of the Year. But it also frankly reveals his story as the first openly gay, HIV-positive jazz musician, tracing his path through hedonistic post-Stonewall New York City to the dramatic two-month medically induced coma in 2007 from which he emerged to make some of the most stunning and captivating music of his career.
Later that month Hersch will reprise his ambitious Leaves of Grass full-evening piece at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Appel Room, the first time the song cycle has been performed in New York City since 2005. Vocalists Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry will reprise their roles from the original project, which sets the verse of American bard Walt Whitman. The legendary poet's timeless ode to the miracle of nature and openhearted love of all beings seems especially vital in our present socio-political moment.
The centerpiece of Open Book, and the spark that ignited the album, is the nearly 20-minute improvisation Through the Forest. Unique in Hersch's extensive discography, the stream-of-consciousness gem is a miniature masterpiece of narrative development, a compelling journey through an abstract, glimmering landscape, revealing that in his early 60s Hersch continues to take creative risks and daunting inventive leaps.
The creation of Through the Forest was as unplanned and spontaneous as the music itself. In Seoul for a pair of solo concerts during a break in a tour of Asia with his esteemed trio, Hersch overslept during an after-breakfast nap and rushed to take the stage at JCC Art Center Concert Hall for his afternoon performance. The titular forest is, in part, a jetlag and coffee-fueled dreamscape through which Hersch wanders, applying his vivid powers of observation to unusual terrain. I was a little groggy, my defenses were down, and rather than fight it I just gave in to it, Hersch recalls. I'd never really done anything of that length in public where I had no agenda and was able to stay in that zone for such an extended period of time. I realized it was something special, something different that might be the core of an album.
Through the Forest became the leaping-off point for an album intended to be singularly divulgent and reflective. A few months later, Hersch returned to the same hall and recorded the remainder of Open Book alone in the empty venue (with the exception of Benny Golson's classic Whisper Not, taken from a concert during that return engagement).
The album opens with the stark musings of The Orb, taken from Hersch's autobiographical music-theater piece My Coma Dreams. A love letter to Hersch's longtime partner, AIDS activist Scott Morgan, The Orb is the final dream depicted in the show, and in this solo rendition becomes a nakedly heartfelt outpouring of raw but tender emotion. The mood then takes a turn for the playful and swinging on Whisper Not, a longtime staple of Hersch's repertoire that here becomes a vibrant, virtuoso marathon of thematic exploration.
The piece also serves as an ideal mirror to the album's other composition from the pen of a jazz icon, Thelonious Monk's Eronel. Hersch has long been recognized as one of the premier interpreters of the Monk songbook, but despite including one of the iconic composer's pieces in every one of his sets for most of his career, Hersch had never tackled this particular tune, co-written by pianist Sadik Hakim. Monk's original stride-inflected lines come in for a dizzying array of variations in Hersch's endlessly imaginative take.
The music of Brazil has also been a constant in Hersch's career, in particular the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim, the subject of one of the pianist's earlier solo efforts, 2009's Fred Hersch Plays Jobim. Picture in Black and White is a new addition to that repertoire, majestically transformed from a bossa nova feel to a crystalline hybrid with Chopin's last nocturne. On the other side of Through the Forest in the album's symmetrical structure comes Hersch's own classical-flavored Plainsong, a spare, lyrical piece composed in the bucolic setting of the MacDowell Colony, the inspirational artists' retreat in rural New Hampshire.
Open Book ends on a meaningful ellipsis, Billy Joel's moving And So It Goes. In title alone it's an apt conclusion, suggesting an embrace of life as lived and hinting at its open-ended continuation. The full lyrics, which Hersch has performed in duo settings with singers including frequent collaborator Kate McGarry, remain unspoken here but obviously deeply felt in every note. I connect with the sentiment of the words, Hersch says, and it felt like a good benediction to the whole album.1. The Orb
2. Whisper Not
4. Through The Forest
7. And So It Goes$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The House At SeaAmor de Días, the collaboration between Alasdair MacLean (The Clientele) and Lupe Núñez-Fernández (Pipas), release their sophomore album The House at Sea. While debut Street of the Love of Days took three years to make, The House at Sea was recorded and mixed in only nine days. As a result, the sessions centered around a smaller band-the twin Spanish guitars and voices of Núñez-Fernández and MacLean, and an occasional rhythm section of James Hornsey and Howard Monk, both formerly of The Clientele. The fast pace of the sessions resulted in a rawer, more urgent album, recorded by Brian O'Shaughnessy (My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream, Denim, Birdie) on 1970s valve equipment with a feeling for space and a deliberately limited palette, all the elements of which had to count. The House at Sea is a snapshot of a year's songs written in London and Madrid. There are pop songs, delirious dream accounts, strange lyrical puzzles, and stories from the city and the suburbs. The theme of the sea threads its way throughout the record along with a gentle sense of drifting and departure, of being lost, of saudade-a sadness at lost things.1. Voice in the Rose
2. In the Winter Sun
3. The House at Sea
5. Jean's Waving
6. Hampshire Lullaby
7. Viento del mar
8. The Sunlit Estate
9. Piedras rotas
10. Same Old Night
11. Under the Glass$18.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now