Great Vinyl


Blue Note has unearthed a previously unissued 1967 live recording with Elvin Jones as a leader called Elvin Jones Revival: Live At Pookie’s Pub.

(Photo: Blue Note)

Three From Blue Note
Blue Note Records continues to release waves of great sound on vinyl. In its Tone Poet series, the label issues two editions of John Coltrane’s Blue Train, first recorded back in 1957 in Rudy Van Gelder’s living-room studio in Hackensack, New Jersey.

The album will be released as a one-LP pressing of the original album and a two-LP stereo pressing of The Complete Masters, which includes seven never-before-released tracks and a booklet packed with never-before-seen photos and an essay by Ashley Kahn. Both are pressed on 180-gram vinyl at RTI.

Going from the legendary saxophonist to a legendary drummer who made his name in Coltrane’s quartet, Blue Note has unearthed a previously unissued 1967 live recording with Elvin Jones as a leader called Elvin Jones Revival: Live At Pookie’s Pub.

The quartet on this date features Jones on drums, Joe Farrell on tenor saxophone, Billy Green on piano and Wilbur Little on bass, and was recorded just two weeks after Coltrane’s untimely death. The set comes in a 180-gram vinyl, three-LP set (or two CDs) with heavy-duty liner notes and plenty of photography from Francis Wolff, Ozier Muhammad, Christian Rose and more.

Going on a more modern tip, the label has also released the 10th anniversary deluxe edition of Robert Glasper Experiment’s Black Radio as a three-LP set on 180-gram vinyl featuring bonus tracks, the remix EP Black Radio Recovered and a killer booklet packed with photography and liner notes by Glasper himself.

Candid Relaunches
Candid Records relaunched in April, reissuing five great titles on CD from its back catalog that show amazing breadth and depth. Those titles are now out on vinyl.

Pee Wee Russell & Coleman Hawkins, Jazz Reunion, offers a terrific 1961 date featuring the clarinetist and saxophonist recording together for the first time in 32 years.

At this point elder statesmen, the duo takes a trip back in time, even recording “If I Could Spend An Hour With You,” a song they recorded together in 1929.

Clark Terry’s Color Changes serves as a reminder of the trumpeter’s imaginative approach, including arrangements by Yusef Lateef, Budd Johnson and Al Cohn for the date.

Spinning to the avant garde side comes The World Of Cecil Taylor, featuring Archie Shepp, Buell Niedlinger and Denis Charles on this date, originally released in 1961.

Booker Little, Out Front, is considered the best of the trumpeter’s limited, but beautiful, work. Little recorded only five sessions as a leader before passing away in 1961 at the age of 23. The quintet date features an all-star cast with Max Roach, Eric Dolphy and others.

Finally, Booker Ervin, That’s It!, shows the tenor saxophonist in top form and heavily influenced by his time with Charles Mingus.

Old Gems From New Land
The New Land record label out of the U.K. has been busy on the vinyl scene this year, reissuing Gerry Mulligan’s 1963 classic Night Lights, a jazz noir masterpiece with the baritone saxophonist’s sextet featuring Jim Hall.

The new label’s latest offering comes in the form of Charles Mingus, reissuing the 1957 nugget of perfection, A Modern Jazz Symposium Of Music And Poetry With Charles Mingus. The remastered and expanded two-LP set includes bonus tracks, outtakes, rare photos and liner notes from the outing’s original pianist, Bob Hammer. Recorded in 1957, the album came together in the heat of what is considered Mingus’ most creative period. Often overlooked, it delivers high concept from one of the greatest artists to walk the planet.

In between, New Land delivered two trumpet gems in the form of Howard McGee’s dusty blue and Blue Mitchell’s eponymously titled album.

The McGee sides offer a killer lineup, with Bennie Green on trombone, Pepper Adams on baritone saxophone, Tommy Flanagan on piano, “Ronald” Carter on bass, Roland Alexander on tenor saxophone and Walter Bolden on drums. Mitchell’s work includes original liner notes from Leonard Feather as well as memories of Mitchell from the date’s drummer, Doug Sides.

All of the New Land offerings are mastered from the original analog tape transfers by Kevin Gray at Cohearant Audio, then printed and pressed on 180-gram vinyl.

Newvelle Renews
During the pandemic, the vinyl-only label Newvelle Records had to hit the pause button. Happily, it has hit play again with four terrific new projects coming out this year.

The Renewal Collection, which can be purchased as a four-album set or separately, includes terrific, ambitious music. Elan Mehler’s There Is A Dance features Mehler on piano with Tony Scherr on bass and Francisco Mela on drums. Michael Blake’s Combobulate offers intensely playful music with Blake on tenor/soprano/flute; Steven Bernstein, trumpet; Clark Gayton, trombone; Bob Stewart, tuba; Marcus Rojas, tuba; and Allan Mednard, drums.

Dave Liebman’s Trust And Honesty showcases the legendary soprano saxophonist also dipping into some tenor and flute with Ben Monder on guitar and John Hébert on bass. And flugelhornist and trumpeter Nadje Noordhuis delivers Full Circle featuring an all-star cast of Fred Hersch on piano, Thomas Morgan on bass and Rudy Royston on drums.

Welcome back, Newvelle!

Check out all of DownBeat’s Holiday Gift Guide here!

  • Casey_B_2011-115-Edit.jpg

    Benjamin possessed a fluid, round sound on the alto saxophone, and he was often most recognizable by the layers of electronic effects that he put onto the instrument.

  • David_Sanborn_by_C_Andrew_Hovan.jpg

    Sanborn’s highly stylized playing and searing signature sound — frequently ornamented with thrill-inducing split-tones and bluesy bent notes — influenced generations of jazz and blues saxophonists.

  • Albert_Tootie_Heath_2014_copy.jpg

    ​Albert “Tootie” Heath (1935–2024) followed in the tradition of drummer Kenny Clarke, his idol.

  • 1_Henry_Threadgills_Zooid_by_Cora_Wagoner.jpg

    Henry Threadgill performs with Zooid at Big Ears in Knoxville, Tennessee.

  • MichaelCuscuna_Katz_2042_6a_1995_copy.jpg

    Cuscuna played a singular role in the world of jazz as a producer of new jazz, R&B and rock recordings; as co-founder of a leading reissue record label; as a historian, journalist and DJ; and as the man who singlehandedly kept the Blue Note label on life support.

On Sale Now
May 2024
Stefon Harris
Look Inside
Print | Digital | iPad