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  • The Legendary First Recordings In NYC 1957 The Legendary First Recordings In NYC 1957 Quick View

    $32.99
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    The Legendary First Recordings In NYC 1957

    Includes Bonus CD


    Nina Simones first album is quite simply one of the finest debuts in the history of recorded music. Backed here only by Jimmy Bond on bass and Albert Heath on drums, this stripped down trio format brings Ninas considerable talents (as a classically trained pianist) to the fore. Her soulful versions of songs like Mood Indigo, My Baby Just Cares For Me and I Loves You, Porgy have all become standards in their own right and Nina the declared idol of many.

    Side 1.
    1. Mood Indigo
    2. Dont Smoke In Bed
    3. He Needs Me
    4. Little Girl Blue
    5. Love Me Or Leave Me
    6. My Baby Just Cares For Me
    7. Hes Got The Whole World In His Hands
    8. African Mailman


    Side 2.
    1. Good Bait
    2. Plain Gold Ring
    3. Youll Never Walk Alone
    4. I Loves You Porgy
    5. Central Park Blues
    6. For All We Know

    Nina Simone
    $32.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Porgy And Bess Porgy And Bess Quick View

    $24.99
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    Porgy And Bess

    Mono Pressing!


    Limited Edition, Individually Numbered!


    On their second conceptual album together, Miles Davis and arranger Gil Evans offered up a profound reinterpretation of George Gershwin's famed opera Porgy and Bess. A landmark release in orchestral jazz and arguably the best of their many collaborations, Evans' adaptation of Gershwin's score here is a veritable tour de force and although the outing features strong performances from Cannonball Adderley (alto sax), Paul Chambers (bass) and Jimmy Cobb (drums), Davis' poignant trumpet playing is the unequivocal star. Transcendent material like Summertime and I Love You Porgy display the true beauty of Miles Davis and Gil Evans' collective genius, their ability to reach the listener on not only a musical level but an emotional one as well.

    1. The Buzzard Song
    2. Bess, You Is My Woman Now
    3. Gone
    4. Gone, Gone, Gone
    5. Summertime
    6. Oh Bess, Oh Where's My Bess
    7. Prayer (Oh Doctor Jesus)
    8. Fisherman, Strawberry and Devil Crab
    9. My Man's Gone Now
    10. It Ain't Necessarily So
    11. Here Come De Honey Man

    12. I Loves You Porgy
    13. There's A Boat That's Leaving Soon For New York
    Miles Davis
    $24.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Mono - Sealed Buy Now
  • Porgy & Bess (Speakers Corner) Porgy & Bess (Speakers Corner) Quick View

    $69.99
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    Porgy & Bess (Speakers Corner)

    The dream of creating an American opera such as Scott Joplin's Treemonisha, written in 1911, inspired George Gershwin a good twenty years later to amazing compositional feats. While Gershwin had brought his musical and musical comedies with great Éclat to Broadway, he wanted his through-composed stage work Porgy And Bess to be regarded as a legitimate opera.



    No matter whether one regards this exceptional work as »American folk opera« (The New York Times) or as a veristic portrayal of African-American life, central to the work is the expressionistic orchestral music that includes (work) songs, spirituals and elements of jazz, and the cast of singers, which, at the insistence of Gershwin, featured African-American singers.



    This stipulation will certainly have suited Verve boss Norman Granz who engaged not only a fresh and lively big band but also a classical string orchestra to support his successful duo of Ella and Louis. Thanks to this superb line-up, the catchy song I Got Plenty O' Nuttin' rolls along sleekly with swing and drive, while Summertime and Bess, You Is My Woman Now wafts away to the sound of heavenly violins. Listening to this music, you couldn't care less about the genre or category, just as long as these two genial musicians perform wonderfully arranged material from the American Song Book. The incomparable nasal twang of Armstrong's solo trumpet seeks out unerringly jazz elements where you would least expect them.



    Musicians:



    • Ella Fitzgerald (vocal)

    • Louis Armstrong (trumpet, vocal)




    Recording: August 1957 in Los Angeles and October 1957 in Chicago

    Production: Norman Granz




    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.


    This title is not eligible for discount.

    LP1
    1. Overture

    2. Summertime
    3. I Wants To Stay Here
    4. My Man's Gone Now
    5. I Got Plenty O' Nuttin
    6. Buzzard Song
    7. Bess, You Is My Woman Now


    LP2
    1. It Ain't Necessarily So

    2. What You Want Wid Bess
    3. A Woman Is A Somtime Thing
    4. Oh, Doctor Jesus
    5. Medley: Here Come De Honey Man / Crab Man / Oh, Dey's So Fresh & Fine
    6. There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York
    7. Bess, Oh Where Is My Bess?
    8. Oh Lawd. I, On My Way!

    Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
    $69.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Porgy And Bess Porgy And Bess Quick View

    $27.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Porgy And Bess

    On their second conceptual album together, Miles Davis and arranger Gil Evans offered up a profound reinterpretation of George Gershwin's famed opera Porgy and Bess. A landmark release in orchestral jazz and arguably the best of their many collaborations, Evans' adaptation of Gershwin's score here is a veritable tour de force and although the outing features strong performances from Cannonball Adderley (alto sax), Paul Chambers (bass) and Jimmy Cobb (drums), Davis' poignant trumpet playing is the unequivocal star. Transcendent material like Summertime and I Love You Porgy display the true beauty of Miles Davis and Gil Evans' collective genius, their ability to reach the listener on not only a musical level but an emotional one as well.
    1. The Buzzard Song
    2. Bess, You Is My Woman Now
    3. Gone
    4. Gone, Gone, Gone

    5. Summertime
    6. Oh Bess, Oh Where's My Bess
    7. Prayer (Oh Doctor Jesus)
    8. Fisherman, Strawberry and Devil Crab
    9. My Man's Gone Now
    10. It Ain't Necessarily So
    11. Here Come De Honey Man

    12. I Loves You Porgy
    13. There's A Boat That's Leaving Soon For New York
    Miles Davis
    $27.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Porgy & Bess (200 Gram) Porgy & Bess (200 Gram) Quick View

    $49.99
    Buy Now
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    Porgy & Bess (200 Gram)

    This is the famous version of Porgy and Bess that was supposed to have Gladys Knight singing the part of Bess. When Ray Charles offered the part to Gladys, having just come of the hit Midnight train to Georgia, her manager at the time, would only allow her to participate if she owned the masters. According to Ray, he said, well now you know that just won't be possible to which her manager responded that she wouldn't be available. Ray told me that his mother taught him the meaning of NO and hence he asked Cleo Laine, who did a beautiful job of singing the part. Ray was also in top form as this 2 LP edition mastered from the original analog masters shows very clearly. Now available on 200g Quiex Super Vinyl Profile for the first time. A must have!
    1. Summertime - Ray Charles
    2. My Man's Gone Now - Cleo Laine
    3. Woman Is a Sometime Thing - Ray Charles
    4. They Pass by Singin' - Cleo Laine
    5. What You Want Wid Bess? - Cleo Laine
    6. I Got Plenty O' Nuttin' - Ray Charles
    7. Buzzard Song - Ray Charles
    8. Bess, You Is My Woman Now - Ray Charles
    9. Oh, Doctor Jesus - Cleo Laine
    10. Crab Man - Ray Charles
    11. Here Come de Honey Man - Ray Charles
    12. Strawberry Woman (Instrumental) - Ray Charles
    13. Strawberry Woman - Cleo Laine
    14. It Ain't Necessarily So - Ray Charles
    15. There's a Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon for New York - Ray Charles
    16. I Loves You, Porgy - Cleo Laine
    17. Oh Bess, Oh Where's My Bess? (Instrumental) - Ray Charles
    18. Oh Bess, Oh Where's My Bess? - Ray Charles
    19. Oh, Lawd, I'm on My Way! - Ray Charles
    Ray Charles & Cleo Laine
    $49.99
    200 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Getz Au Go Go Getz Au Go Go Quick View

    $37.99
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    Getz Au Go Go

    Although the name Stan Getz (tenor sax) was initially synonymous with the West Coast cool scene during the mid-to-late 1950s, he likewise became a key component in the Bossa Nova craze of the early 1960s. Getz Au Go Go (1965) is Stan Getz in his prime, recorded with perhaps one of the best quartets of his career, featuring Bossa Nova singer Astrud Gilberto.


    The album was recorded in 1964 during two concerts in the venerable Greenwich Village venue, the CafÉ Au Go Go, two months after Astrud Gilberto's Girl From Ipanema became a Top Five pop single. However, the focus of Getz Au Go Go steers away from the Brazilian flavored fare, bringing Gilberto into the realm of a decidedly more North American style.


    That said, there are a few Antonio Carlos Jobim compositions -- Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars) and One Note Samba -- both of which would be considered as jazz standards in years to follow. The album boasts wonderful versions of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein's It Might as Well Be Spring, and the scintillating instrumental Summertime, from Porgy & Bess.


    The band features a young Gary Burton (vibraphone), Kenny Burrell (guitar), Gene Cherico (bass), and Joe Hunt (drums). There are a few personnel substitutions, with Helcio Milito (drums) and Chuck Israels (bass), respectively, filling in. Getz Au Go Go is highly recommended for all dimensions of jazz enthusiasts.

    1. Corcovado
    2. It Might As Well Be Spring
    3. Eu E Voce
    4. Summertime
    5. 6-nix-pix-flix
    6. Only Trust Your Heart
    7. The Singing Song
    8. The Telephone Song
    9. One Note Samba
    10. Here's That Rainy Day
    Stan Getz Quartet
    $37.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Toto Toto Quick View

    $29.99
    Buy Now
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    Toto

    Mastered by Joe Reagoso at Friday Music Studios and RTI with Kevin Gray!


    While already having street credibility due to their years supporting a plethora of gold and platinum artists (Steely Dan, Boz Scaggs, Chicago), the debut album from Toto simply titled Toto catapulted the power quintet into major arena rock status as they accumulated a ton of hit singles and gold and platinum album awards on this 1979 masterpiece.


    Upon its release, Toto flew into the upper rungs of the rock and pop music charts with the power rocker Hold The Line. Filled with its catchy hooks, brilliant vocal and guitar work from maestro Steve Lukather, and the familiar Bobby Kimball high energy lead vocals, this amazing debut single has become a classic rock staple.



    Adding the stellar piano work from David Paich and Steve Porcaro, the song truly resonated with its huge audience, and broke wide open the importance of both the band and their great new album.


    Produced by Toto (David Paich, Steve Lukather, Jeff Porcaro, Steve Porcaro, Bobby Kimball, David Hungate) Toto was a watershed venture for the band as its ten champion tunes have all truly stood the test of time. Aside from the massive top charting Hold The Line there were more classics abound like the follow up power rocker I'll Supply The Love, the soulful fare of Georgy Porgy featuring the great Cheryl Lynn on vocals, plus even more brillant album tracks like Angela, Rockmaker and Manuela Run.


    The Friday Music Toto 180g audiophile vinyl series continues with the band's history making debut album Toto. Impeccably mastered from the original Columbia Records tapes by Joe Reagoso (Toto/Boz Scaggs/Hall & Oates/Doobie Brothers) this brilliant masterpiece is now finally available in the audiophile vinyl domain. For this special limited edition release, Friday is also including for the first time, the original album cover artwork in a gatefold format, which will truly enhance your hours of listening enjoyment.

    1. Child's Anthem
    2. I'll Supply The Love
    3. Georgy Porgy
    4. Manuela Run
    5. You Are The Flower
    6. Girl Goodbye
    7. Takin' It Back
    8. Rockmaker
    9. Hold The Line
    10. Angela
    Toto
    $29.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Buy Now
  • Great Jazz Standards (Pure Pleasure) Great Jazz Standards (Pure Pleasure) Quick View

    $34.99
    Buy Now
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    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.




    Musicians:



    • 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.



    This title is not eligible for discount.

    Gil Evans
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Miles In The Sky Miles In The Sky Quick View

    $49.99
    Buy Now
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    Miles In The Sky

    Numbered, 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
    2. Paraphernalia
    3. Black Comedy
    4. Country Son
    Miles Davis
    $49.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45RPM - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Toto Toto Quick View

    $34.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Toto

    Toto was founded in 1977 by some of the most experienced session musicians of that time.
    The members of Toto were regulars on albums by Steely Dan, Seals and Crofts, Boz Scaggs, Sonny and Cher, and many others, contributing to many of the most popular records of the 1970s.


    The band enjoyed great commercial success in the late 1970s and 1980s, starting with the band's self-titled debut released in 1978.
    It includes the hit singles 'Hold the Line', 'I'll Supply the Love' and 'Georgy Porgy' and the album gained a reputation when released for its characteristic sound, mixing soft pop with both synth and hard rock elements.
    The band still has a good reputation as selling out arenas all over the world proves.
    Music on Vinyl now rereleases this classic album on 180-grams vinyl.

    1. Child's Anthem (2:45)
    2. I'll Supply The Love (3:45)
    3. Georgy Porgy (4:08)
    4. Manuela Run (3:55)
    5. You Are The Flower (4:17)


    1. Girl Goodbye (6:14)
    2. Takin' It Back (3:46)
    3. Rockmaker (3:19)
    4. Hold The Line (3:56)
    5. Angela (4:44)

    Toto
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Sorceress (Black Vinyl) Sorceress (Black Vinyl) Quick View

    $29.99
    Buy Now
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    Sorceress (Black Vinyl)

    Pressed On Black Vinyl


    There are few bands that can or will match Sweden's Opeth. Since forming in the tiny Stockholm suburb of Bandhagen in 1990, the Swedes have eclipsed convention, defiantly crushed the odds, and, most importantly, crafted 12 stunningly beautiful, become one of the best bands on the planet; on album or on stage. Ask any Opeth fan. Enquire with any band that's shared the proverbial pine with the Swedes. Or, get a label representative to talk Opeth. They'll all tell you the same thing: Opeth are peerless. And they're only getting better.


    Opeth's new album, Sorceress, their first for Nuclear Blast via the band's imprint label Moderbolaget Records, is proof chief architect Mikael Åkerfeldt has a near-endless well of greatness inside. From the album's opener "Persephone" to "The Wilde Flowers" and "Strange Brew" to the album's counterpart title tracks "Sorceress" and "Sorceress II", Opeth's twelfth full-length is an unparalleled adventure, where visions cleverly and secretly change, colours mute as if weathered by time, and sounds challenge profoundly. Sorceress is, by definition, moored in Åkerfeldt's impressive record collection-his one true vice-but, as always, there's more invention than appropriation at play.


    "This time around I didn't think about what I wanted to do," Åkerfeldt reveals. "I was forced to write. But once I started, it was easy. This record, like the last record, didn't take long to write. Like five or six months. The thoughts behind this record developed as I was writing. The only thing I was thinking about with this record was to write that songs didn't musically connect. I made sure if I had a song that was new sounding for this record, I'd make the next song completely different. I think the songs are very different from one another. It's very diverse."


    Certainly, every Opeth record has had diversity. In 1995, Orchid reset the rules of death metal. Six years later, Blackwater Park hit the high note for musicality in a genre generally devoid of it. Damnation, in 2003, was the work of a band determined to upend the norm. Five years after that, Watershed closed Opeth's chapter on death metal by visiting its darkest corners and holding its native brutality aloft. And in 2014, Pale Communion officially bridged the progressive music gap by twisting the intrepid sounds of '60s, '70s, and '80s into contemporary brilliance. So, really, what's so different about Sorceress?


    "My music taste got a little wider," grins Åkerfeldt. "I started listening to jazz. I bought a lot of Coltrane records. I never really thought Coltrane would be for me because I like 'dinner jazz.' I like comfortable, soft, nice, and lovely jazz. Like Miles Davis' '50s stuff. Porgy and Bess, for example. I guess Dave Brubeck fits in there, too. So, that's the only new influx of musical inspiration for me. Other than that, I've been buying the same type of records I always have. Prog, symphonic rock, singer/songwriter, metal, hard rock But there wasn't anything that set me off like The Zombies or Scott Walker. Nothing got me going this time."


    Actually, that's not entirely true. Åkerfeldt's always mining for progressive gold. Good, rare music is particularly good at getting his motor running. He found double-gold in one-off Italian outfit Il Paese dei Balocchi and Bobak, Jons, Malone's ultra-obscure Motherlight album. To wit, get Åkerfeldt talking about either and he's all too pleased to discuss the finer points of Il Paese dei Balocchi's string-based darkness or how he fan-boyed Malone via email to get the famed British orchestrator and one-time Iron Maiden producer to contribute to Sorceress.


    "I absolutely love Il Paese dei Balocchi," Åkerfeldt professes. "They did one album. It's insanely good. It has everything I love about progressive rock in it. This album is so orchestrated and epic. It's got lots of string sections. It's very moody, dark, and sad. It's a mystery they didn't do any more. As for Will Malone, he did the strings and stuff for the Sabbath records-Sabotage and Never Say Die! But now he does strings for pop artists like Joss Stone, The Verve, Depeche Mode. I looked him up, mostly because he was the house engineer for Morgan Studios in the '60s. He was also in a few bands. Like Orange Bicycle and played on the Motherlight album. He also had a solo record, which is also amazing and superbly rare. It's orchestral. The bulk of it is strings. It's kind of like Nick Drake."


    Åkerfeldt's quick to point out, however, his newfound progressive music loves didn't directly inspire him to write Sorceress. The majority of the album was penned in Opeth's rehearsal space, where, nestled comfortably in a corner, a computer, a keyboard, and a microphone sit ready for the next Opeth epic. It isn't plush, but it's exactly the type of environment the frontman needs to focus his creative self into song.


    "When I'm in a writing mode, I have tunnel vision," says Åkerfeldt. "I have a really good work ethic. I go down to the studio everyday early in the morning and I work. I absolutely love it. It's so much fun. It's much easier now, too. I write complete demos. I sequence the songs in the order I want them to be on the record. I do mixing. I do overdubs. Once I'm done, I give copies to the guys so they can listen to the album. They practice to it on their own. When it's time to go into the studio, everybody does their own thing. It obviously works."


    For Sorceress, Opeth returned to Rockfield Studios in Wales, where the Swedes had tracked Pale Communion in 2014 with Tom Dalgety. The experience was so positive and historical-the countryside studio was also home to pivotal Budgie, Queen, Rush, Judas Priest, and Mike Oldfield recordings-there really was no other option for Opeth and crew. Rockfield Studios or bust! The studio, with Dalgety yet again in tow, provided the necessary isolation, the right bucolic atmosphere, the best gear, and three square meals a day for Sorceress to come out the other end spitting fire. All in 12 bittersweet days, too.


    "There was a time when I came out of our recordings a wreck," Åkerfeldt bemoans. "But now I come out with a wish. I wish it wouldn't have gone so quickly. There's emptiness after I leave the studio. I love writing and recording in the studio. It's lovely at Rockfield. It's in the sticks. It's got horses and cows. There's lots of sheep in Wales. But the studio is just a studio. It's so beautiful there. So quiet. It's a residential studio as well, so we live there while we're recording. We have chefs for us, too. So, we can just be there, playing, recording, and hanging out."


    If life is like a Peter Max poster, the lyrics to Sorceress aren't. There's color, but they've been treated, corrupted, and befouled. That is to say, they're much darker. Some of bleak lyrical tones stem from Åkerfeldt's personal life-and are thusly contorted beyond recognition-while others touch grimly on topics like love and what happens to people on the other side of it. In fact, some of the lyrical ideas are similar to what was happening on Blackwater Park.


    "I made sure to write good lyrics," Åkerfeldt laughs. "This sounds very old-fashioned black metal to say, but the lyrics are misanthropic. It's not a concept record, so there's no theme running through the record. Most of the record deals with love. The negative aspects of love. The jealously, the bitterness, the paranoia, and the mind games of love. So, it's a love record. Love songs. Love can be like a disease or a spell."


    Luckily, for Åkerfeldt and crew-bassist Martín MÉndez, drummer Martin Axenrot, guitarist Fredrik Åkesson, and keyboardist Joakim Svalberg-the lineup doesn't have to deal with Sorceress' main theme. They've been together since Heritage was completed, and according to Åkerfeldt he's not been in a better band situation before. Not since Orchid. Not since Still Life. Not since Ghost Reveries.


    "It's the best band situation I've ever had. Fans will look at our eras and have their favorite lineup, but this is the best. Even the happiest days of the first and second lineups aren't comparable to what I have now. We never fight. It's like a good work team. We know each other professionally and personally. As much as we're a band, we're also friends. We hang out when we're not doing Opeth."


    A core team is a good thing, when Opeth's credibility is in full view of fans and critics. Åkerfeldt's very aware of what the masses have had to say about Opeth since Watershed. While some disliked the musical shift on Heritage, most have applauded it. They've come to expect something new from Opeth. True to form, Sorceress will give long-time fans and weary critics reason to re-think Opeth and what it takes to be musically fearless.


    "I hope they'll like the record," posits Åkerfeldt. "I can only talk from my perspective and taste here, but we offer diversity that's not really present in the scene today. Whatever genre. We've always been a special band. We've gotten a lot of shit for being different. We still do. Our time will come, I think. It comes down to perseverance. It comes down to not giving up or giving in to public opinion. Music is about doing your own thing or going your own way."

    1. Persephone
    2. Sorceress
    3. The Wilde Flowers
    4. Will O The Wisp
    5. Chrysalis
    6. Sorceress 2
    7. The Seventh Sojourn
    8. Strange Brew
    9. A Fleeting Glance
    10. Era
    11. Persephone (Slight Return)
    12. The Ward
    13. Spring MCMLXXIV
    Opeth
    $29.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Little Girl Blue (Pure Pleasure) Little Girl Blue (Pure Pleasure) Quick View

    $34.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Little Girl Blue (Pure Pleasure)

    Little Girl Blue, released in 1957, was Nina Simone's first recording, originally issued on the Bethlehem label. Backed by bassist Jimmy Bond and Albert 'Tootie' Heath, it showcases her ballad voice as one of mystery and sensuality and showcases her up-tempo jazz style with authority and an enigmatic down-home feel that is nonetheless elegant. The album also introduced a fine jazz pianist. Simone was a solid improviser who never strayed far from the blues. Check the opener, her reading of Duke Ellington's Mood Indigo, which finger-pops and swings while keeping the phrasing deep-blue. It is contrasted immediately with one of the -- if not the -- definitive reads of Willard Robison's steamy leave-your-lover ballad Don't Smoke in Bed. The title track, written by Rodgers & Hart, features Good King Wenceslas as a classical prelude to one of the most beautiful pop ballads ever written. It is followed immediately by the funky swing in Love Me or Leave Me with a smoking little piano solo in the bridge where Bach meets Horace Silver and Bobby Timmons.


    It's also interesting to note that while this was her first recording, the record's grooves evidence an artist who arrives fully formed; many of the traits Simone displayed throughout her career as not only a vocalist and pianist but as an arranger are put on first notice here. My Baby Just Cares for Me has a stride shuffle that is extrapolated on in the piano break. Her instrumental and improvising skills are put to good use on Tadd Dameron's Good Bait, which is transformed into something classical from its original bebop intent. You'll Never Walk Alone feels more like some regal gospel song than the Rodgers & Hammerstein show tune it was. Of course, one of Simone's signature tunes was her version of I Loves You, Porgy, which appears here for the first time and was released as a single. Her own Central Park Blues is one of the finest jazz tunes here.



    Musicians:



    • Nina Simone (piano, vocal)

    • Jimmy Bond (bass)

    • Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums)



    Recording: 1957



    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. Mood Indigo
    2. Don't Smoke In Bed
    3. He Needs Me
    4. Little Girl Blue
    5. Love Me Or Leave Me
    6. My baby Just Cares For Me
    7. Good Bait
    8. Plain Gold Ring
    9. You'll Never Walk Alone
    10. I Loves You Porgy
    11. Central Park Blues
    Nina Simone
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Miles Ahead (Out Of Stock) Miles Ahead (Out Of Stock) Quick View

    $24.99
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    Miles Ahead (Out Of Stock)

    Mono pressing!


    Limited Individually Numbered!


    Miles Ahead is an album by Miles Davis that was released in 1957 as Columbia CL 1041. This was Davis' first collaboration with arranger Gil Evans following the groundbreaking Birth of the Cool sessions. Davis and Evans would go on to record the Columbia albums Porgy and Bess, Sketches of Spain and Quiet Nights, all considered masterpieces of orchestral jazz.


    Evans combined the ten pieces that make up the album into a suite, each flowing into the next without interruption; the only exception to this rule was on the title track since it was placed last on side A. Davis is the only soloist on Miles Ahead, which features a large ensemble consisting of sixteen woodwind and brass players. Art Taylor played drums on the sessions and the then current Miles Davis Quintet member Paul Chambers was the bassist.


    A fifth recording date involved Davis alone (re-)recording material to cover or patch mistakes or omissions in his solos using overdubbing.

    1. Springsville
    2. The Maids of Cadiz
    3. The Duke
    4. My Ship
    5. Miles Ahead
    6. Blues for Pablo
    7. New Rhumba
    8. The Meaning of the Blues
    9. Lament
    10. I Don't Wanna Be Kissed
    Miles Davis
    $24.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Mono - Sealed Temporarily out of stock
  • Rhapsody In Blue (Limited Edition) (Out Of Stock) Rhapsody In Blue (Limited Edition) (Out Of Stock) Quick View

    $69.99
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    Rhapsody In Blue (Limited Edition) (Out Of Stock)

    Double LP Stereo Edition, Limited to 496 Copies


    180 Gram Reissue, Heavy Stock Jacket


    The legacy of analysis, discussion and even controversy that for nearly a century has continued to envelop the music of George Gershwin, with its eclecticism and its amphibious nature, its mixture of classical and jazz, highbrow and lowbrow, is now re-presented and perhaps cleared up here once and for all before our eyes. An orchestra that's not merely classical, but crowned with classical glory, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, one of the oldest orchestras in the world, has made this recording of Gershwin played by Stefano Bollani, a pianist with a superb jazz background, and conducted by Riccardo Chailly - a champion of 20th Century composers.


    The performance of the Concerto is the finest I have ever heard. Gershwin may have doffed his hat to Rachmaninov, Puccini and Ravel at various junctures in the score but this, as Chailly and jazz pianist Stefano Bollani are intent on reminding us, is an American Jazz Age concerto. Inhibitions are left backstage and, while all parties are alive to the smallest detail, there is an irreverence and spontaneity which capture the spirit of the work like no other. Applause, too, for the atmospheric solo trumpet (and the fourth horn's sforzandos!) in the slow movement. Catfish Row, Gershwin's own five-movement orchestral suite from Porgy and Bess (not to be confused with Robert Russell Bennett's Symphonic Suite), provides a bridge and welcome contrast between the Rhapsody and the Concerto, containing as it does some of Gershwin's darkest music.


    Rhapsody in Blue opens the disc. It's a cracking account that inhabits the same world as the Concerto and is played in GrofÉ's original jazz-band version, from which the piece always benefits. Here again, Bollani's exuberance and panache are infectious - until he can't resist rewriting bars 243-75 and, more bizarrely, improvising the 26 bars after 12 minutes, 24 seconds in, in a style reminiscent of Bill Evans. If such anachronisms as Schnabel's cadenzas to Mozart's piano concertos don't bother you, then neither will Bollani's interpolations.... That said, there is no denying the merits of this fabulous disc superbly engineered by Philip Siney - and with the best cover shot of the year. - Gramophone, January 2010

    1. Rhapsody In Blue
    2. Catfish Row - Symphonic Suite
    -Catfish Row
    -Porgy Sings
    -Fugue
    -Hurricane
    3. Good Mornin' Sistuh!
    4. Concerto In F For Piano And Orchestra - Allegro
    5. Adagio - Andante Con Moto
    6. Allegro Agitato
    7. Rialto Ripples
    George Gershwin
    $69.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Temporarily out of stock
  • The Paris Concert: Edition One (Out Of Stock) The Paris Concert: Edition One (Out Of Stock) Quick View

    $59.99
    x

    The Paris Concert: Edition One (Out Of Stock)


    Numbered, Limited Edition! Pressed at RTI!


    Mastered by Bernie Grundman from the Original Masters!


    Edition One of The Paris Concert by Bill Evans was recorded live in November 1979 at L'espace Cardin in Paris, France. Evans is assisted by bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joe LaBarbera. This first edition of the two includes Gershwin's I Loves You Porgy, Rodgers & Hart's My Romance and Paul Simon's I Do It For Your Love.


    Bill Evans was an American jazz pianist and composer who mostly worked in a trio setting. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time, and is considered by some to have been the most influential post-World War II jazz pianist. Evans's use of impressionist harmony, inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, block chords, and trademark rhythmically independent, singing melodic lines continue to influence jazz pianists today.


    Marc Johnson is an American jazz bass player, composer, and band leader. In 1978, Johnson joined legendary pianist Bill Evans in what would be Evans' last trio. Johnson toured and recorded with Evans until the death of the pianist in 1980. His many recording credits since then include discs with Joe Lovano, Michael Brecker, Stan Getz, Bob Brookmeyer, Gary Burton, John Abercrombie, Bill Frisell, Pat Metheny, Eliane Elias, Enrico Pieranunzi, Joey Baron, Philly Joe Jones, and many others.


    Joe LaBarbera is an American jazz drummer and composer. He is best known for his recordings and live performances with the trio of pianist Bill Evans in the final years of Evans' career. Prior to joining Evans he worked in the quartet of Chuck Mangione and Joe Farrell. After Evans' death in 1980, Joe joined singer Tony Bennett.


    With bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joe La Barbera, Evans had one of the strongest trios of his career... -Scott Yanow, allmusic.com


    Features:

    • Numbered, Limited Edition

    • Audiophile 180g, 45rpm Vinyl

    • Double LP, Gatefold Packaging

    • Pressed at RTI!

    • Mastered by Bernie Grundman from Original Masters


    Musicians:

    Bill Evans, piano

    Marc Johnson, bass

    Joe LaBarbera, drums


    Recorded by Radio France at L'espace Cardin in Paris, France on November 26, 1979.


    This title is not eligible for discount.

    1. I Do It For Your Love
    2. Quiet Now
    3. Noelle's Theme
    4. My Romance
    5. I Loves You Porgy
    6. Up With the Lark
    7. All Mine (Minha)
    8. Beautiful Love
    9. Excerpts of a Conversation Between Bill and Harry Evans
    Bill Evans
    $59.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45 RPM - 2 LPs Sealed Temporarily out of stock
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