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1435749514

Bernard Stollman died last 19th of April at 85.

We at Jazz Messengers would like to render homage to a great man. Unknown to most but a legend to many, he was one of the most important non-musicians in the history of the 1960s jazz avant-garde.
Stollman, a lawyer by profession, founded the ESP-Disk label in 1964, initially so he could release Ni Kantu En Esperanto, an album of songs and poetry in Esperanto (a language invented in the 1880s and intended to transcend national boundaries and thus foster international peace and understanding).

The imprint’s second release, though, turned out to be one of the landmark jazz albums of all time — saxophonist Albert Ayler’s Spiritual Unity. Scorching and raw, this trio session can still take the top of your skull off.

Over the next few years, ESP-Disk released well over 100 titles, ranging from free jazz to avant-garde rock to vintage live recordings by Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday.

Ripozu en paco Mr Stollman.

See ESP-DISK Catalogue here:

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1435745959

Only for web orders 10% discount on Pellucidar until 12th of July 2015

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THE MAGNIFICENT DREAMERS ARE BACK!!!

Their 5th CD and their first in over 4 years. Zorn’s most delightfully lyrical and poetic unit returns with nine compositions inspired by the imaginary worlds of fantasy literature.

Featuring some of Zorn’s catchiest hooks and plenty of fiery solos from Ribot, Saft and Wollesen, Pellucidar blends soul, surf, jazz, minimalism, rumba, tango, samba, exotica and more in classic Dreamers style.

The band gets an absolutely wicked groove….This is, definitely, our record of the week!

With the album's subtitle in mind, the Urban Dictionary defines fantabula as "a mixture of fantastic, fabulous and ooh la la." ...very fitting definition.

Available here:

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1435684172

ARCHIE SHEPP & HORACE PARLAN

COMPELLING is a very fitting word for Archie Shepp's two duet albums with pianist Horace Parlan on the SteepleChase label.
“Goin' Home” and “Trouble in Mind” (recorded in 1977 and 1980 respectively) feature Shepp (who doubles on soprano) and Parlan playing tasteful versions of ancient black folk melodies and blues-oriented pieces from the 1920s.

Those listeners only familiar with Shepp's earlier Fire Music will find in both albums the innovative avant-garde tenor in relaxed and melodic form and makes these truly fascinating performances.

Gopin' Home:

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Trouble In Mind:

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1435597268

Pianist/Composer Vijay Iyer Voted Jazz Artist of the Year,
Vijay Iyer Trio Voted Jazz Group of The Year
In 63rd Annual DownBeat Critics Poll

It seems that Vijay Iyer has found a home for his entire creative prowess at ECM. The label, which has in its DNA to nurture and back his musicians in the quest for artistic expressivity has proven to be the place where he can develop the most diverse projects.

Proof of that was his first album for ECM, Mutations. A rather difficult album, full of quality, but that anyone in their right (commercial) mind would not have released.
Then again ECM has been there, seen this and proven wrong to all those who thought otherwise (critics mocked the audacity of the label at the time when they released a 10 LP set, The Sun Bear concerts, with a full record of Keith Jarrett’s Japan tour).
The music spoke for itself, and endured.

Vijay’s second release consisted on RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi. A multimedia collaboration with filmmaker Prashant Bhargava, inspired by the centennial of the Stravinsky-Nijinsky Rite of Spring to explore another springtime rite: the Hindu festival of Holi. Bhargava and Iyer have captured the very complex nature of Holi as well as the beauty of India and its people. It’s hard not to wonder what it would be like to participate in Holi after seeing Radhe Radhe. It’s a surprising burst of visual and aural color—a romantically wrapped love letter to a people and their traditions.

Finally it comes the Trio album. Break Stuff is another enduring album for posterity. Hardly surprising that it makes it to record of the year. The music is beautifully executed and the album received an always impressive 5 stars in Downbeat, as well as a CHOC by the French magazine JazzMan – JazzMagazine.

Three very different works that show the amazing palette of abilities by this wonderful musician.


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1435439712

On a day like today, June 27th in 1961, (54 years ago) Mal Waldron recorded The Quest with saxophonists Eric Dolphy and Booker Ervin as well as with Ron Carter on cello (Dolphy even makes a rare appearance on clarinet during "Warm Canto”) …. One of those combinations of musicians which can’t go wrong!

Also from Mal Waldron we do have back in stock the latest release from Progressive “News - Run About Mal And Mal '81”. This release which joints both albums from the same session has added 4 alternate takes which have never been issued before.

The Quest:

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News - Run About Mal And Mal '81

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1435438373

A fantastic concert at the small, intimate and cozy Jamboree Club in Barcelona!!
French jazz singer Cyrille Aimee has been in Barcelona tonight showing how much a subtle and articulate vocalist she is light-stepping, casually fluent and persuasive with a touch of an Edith Piaf-like quaver.
Jazz Messengers was there and she took some time to to leave a message!!!

Her latest album for Mack Avenue available here:


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1435315845

SMOKE SESSIONS RECORDS & CLUB
This is the story:
A small jazz club survives for almost 15 years in the white-knuckle world New York City. Awed and inspired over the years by the music all around them, the owners of the club decide to push further their luck and set a record label to ‘preach’ beyond the limited seats of the club. In the spring of 2013 they set Smoke Sessions Records. Indeed we should praise them!

Vincent Herring and Steve Davis are two of the latest installments coming out on the label.
The true pulse of the essence of Hard Bop in New York and adding to the, so far, so solid line of albums they have edited: Louis Hayes, Steve Turre, Harold Mabern, Cyrus Chestnut, Orrin Evans, Jimmy Cobb, David Hazeltine, Eric Reed and Javon Jackson.

A who’s who in today’s jazz scene on the Big Apple.

See a complete list of the records here:

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1435308377

Montmartre, Copenhagen 1973
Today we have the second part of a treat:
An Evening With Joe Albany

Look up pianist Joe Albany and you will discover that during his career he associated with the likes of Benny Carter, Lester Young, Joe Venuti, Warne Marsh, and even Charlie Parker. Joe Albany’s real importance is, no less, as one of the early bop pianists.

After decades of struggle (which he frankly described in the excellent 1980 documentary Joe Albany...a Jazz Life) which saw him battling a heroin addiction, or living in seclusion in Europe he returned to jazz in the 1970s and played with certain regularity.

Joe Albany (1924-88) lived a wandering, drug-fuelled life that could have come straight from the pages of Jack Kerouac. When he was in good shape, he was a great pianist.

In this second part of a previously unreleased solo set, recorded in 1973, the ideas come tumbling out so copiously that they sometimes fall over one another - but they’re all his own ideas and there’s nothing glib about them. He was a genuine original.

This album is a little piece of jazz history. Not only collectable but highly enjoyable to listen to. Get it now!:


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A very interesting film about a really gifted pianist. Based on his daughter memories. A pitty is is not screened in Europe... so far..

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Antonio Sanchez is flying high!
Still riding the wave of his success for the score of the film Birdman, (which was fully improvised by the four-time Grammy-winning jazz musician and first-time film composer) Sanchez produces another, yet, fantastic album on Italian label CamJazz “The Meridian Suite”.

Accompained by Seamus Blake on tenor saxophone and EWI (electronic wind instrument), John Escreet on acoustic and Fender Rhodes piano, and Matt Brewer on acoustic and electric bass plus joining the ensemble, at times, as special guests are the guitarist Adam Rogers and the vocalist Thana Alexa, Mr. Sánchez’s wife.

Antonio is in the cover of July’s Downbeat, a recognition we feel he’s been long deserving as he has been an important drummer in jazz since the turn of this century.
His previous album “Three Times Three” (also on CamJazz) had been a keystone in his career in which he played 3 tracks with three different trios… Brad Mehldau and Matt Brewer, John Scofield and Christian McBride, Joe Lovano and John Patitucci… say no more, say no more

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A great New Album!!
TERELL STAFFORD - BROTHERLEE LOVE
Celebrating Lee Morgan

When it comes to raw energy and sheer grit, few trumpet players can rival Philadelphia legend Lee Morgan. The trumpeter, who died in 1972, was a firebrand, a bold personality who added sparks to the many groups with which he played and the many records on which he appeared. His tone, big, raspy and brash, is inextricably linked with the sound of mid-century post-bop.

Now, superb trumpet player (and way underrated under our opinion!), Terell Stafford, pays tribute to Morgan’s iconic style with BrotherLee Love. Stafford proves that Morgan’s compositions don’t require re-interpretation or re-invention to sound relevant to modern ears. They’re hot enough to stand on their own.

While Stafford may not be a Philadelphia native (he was born in Miami and raised in a suburb of Chicago) he's become a vocal champion of the city's storied jazz heritage. Stafford came of musical age on Philadelphia stages, mentored by local legends like Shirley Scott, Arthur Harper, Mickey Roker, and Bootsie Barnes.

BrotherLee Love features the trumpeter's regular band of brothers, his incredible quintet with saxophonist Tim Warfield, pianist Bruce Barth, bassist Peter Washington, and drummer Dana Hall. Collectively, these musicians hone in well close on the iconic Morgan sound.

It is a fitting homage to Edward Lee Morgan now that we are approaching what would have been his 77th anniversary on July 10. He died at 33 when his wife shot him at Slug’s Saloon over an argument.

1435049512

CHECK YOUR COLLECTION AND SEE IF YOU HAVE THIS ONE!!

After half a dozen years spent working fruitfully with Michael Garrick, Don Rendell and Joe Harriott, Ian Carr established the seminal jazz-rock group Nucleus in 1969.

If that outfit could be said to have had a regular vocalist, it was probably Norma Winstone. So this live recording, captured at Montreux, of an early Nucleus concert featuring vocalist Leon Thomas instead, is an intriguing departure and a real discovery.

There are not known recordings with Ian Carr, previously or to date apart from this appearance in Montreux in 1970, one of the first recordings of Leon, whom at the time, it seemed, was on the verge of stardom having just recorded “The Creator Has a Master Plan” with Pharoah Sanders in 1969 and showing that even avant-garde jazz can become popular under some circumstances. However, as fate goes, he remained an underground figure.

This this double gatefold sleeve LP looks as good as it sounds. GREAT!

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It’s hard to think of another label that’s done more to document, support and nurture European free jazz and improvised music than Berlin’s Free Music Production.

CIENFUEGOS is now releasing iconic recordings from FMP, the iconic German label founded by Jost Gebers, Peter Brötzmann, Peter Kowald, and Alexander von Schlippenbach in 1969. The label can pride itself as being the inspiration for other groundbreaking labels like ECM.

In 2011, FMP released an astonishing, limited edition, 12-CD box set, FMP Im Rückblick—In Retrospect 1969–2010, with a lavish 12-inch by 12-inch 216-page booklet featuring illuminating essays, detailed discographical information and a thorough listing of concert productions that formed the other key part of the company’s activity, this set vibrantly tries to sum up more than four decades of history.
(Awarded with 5 stars in May 2011 Downbeat’s edition)

All 12 CDs are also available individually, but this monumental set exceeds the kind of detail and splendor that FMP delivered through its history.

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One of our favourites!
He plays like he dresses, swinging, sophisticated jazz done in a straight-ahead style. The epitome of class and elegance, though not stuffy, Ron Carter has been a world class bassist and cellist since the '60s.

1434965259

The new chapter on Henry Threadgill’s Zooid band (his usual formation for the past 14 years) shows that the jazz avant-garde has produced dozens of notable improvisers but relatively few great composers. Henry Threadgill is a member of that exclusive club.
He embraces the world of music in its entirety (with a career span of more than 40 years), from ragtime to circus marches to classical to bop, free jazz, and beyond. Such might sound merely eclectic in the telling, but in truth, Threadgill always sounds like Threadgill.
You can explore the beginnings and middle of his career with 2 very comprehensive box sets. Mosaic’s complete Columbia & Novus recordings and the Black Saint & Soul Note box set

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Eric Dolphy would have been 87 this last saturday (20th June).
He was a true original with his own distinctive styles on alto, flute, and bass clarinet.

His music fell into the "avant-garde" category yet he did not discard chordal improvisation altogether. While most of the other "free jazz" players sounded very serious in their playing, Dolphy's solos often came across as ecstatic and exuberant.

Although the alto was his main axe, Dolphy was the first flutist to move beyond bop and he largely introduced the bass clarinet to jazz as a solo instrument.
Also, he was also one of the first (after Coleman Hawkins) to record unaccompanied horn solos, preceding Anthony Braxton by five years.

Whatever we say about him would be an understatement. Only his own music makes him justice.

He died of a coma brought on by an undiagnosed diabetic condition. A very sad story as after collapsing on a diabetic shock, attending hospital physicians had no idea that Dolphy was a diabetic and, allegedly, decided treatment based on a stereotypical view of jazz musicians related to substance abuse. They considered he had overdosed on drugs.
He was left in a hospital bed for the drugs to run their course.

A week to remember one of the truly great jazz musicians as next monday will be 51 years since his untimely death (29th June 1964).

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Poetical title to poetical music!

The second posthumously released duo album on Impulse featuring Charlie Haden (the first was with Jim Hall last year) is a recorded date in 2005 at the Tokyo's Blue Note.

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FREE IMPROVISED MUSIC From EMANEM

Milo Fine Free Ensemble
John Russell – Phil Durrant – John Butcher
Marcio Mattos

Three early recordings by the long lasting duo of Milo Fine (clarinet, percussion and piano) and Steve Gnitka (electric guitar).

A reissue of the first LP by the exceptionally fine improvising trio of John Russell (guitar), Phil Durrant (violin and trombone) and John Butcher (saxophones). This group came into being in 1984 after Russell and Durrant had spent the previous two years performing in private with another saxophonist.

Marcio Mattos has been an important member of the free improvisation and free jazz scenes since moving to London in the early 1970s. This, however, is his first solo album.

Full catalogue available:

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The musical partnership of Crispell and Hemingway goes back to the 80’s, when they played together in a variety of Anthony Braxton’s ensembles. In 1992 they began touring as a duo.

In the summer of 2013 the duo played at a number of prestigious festivals all over Europe.
On their new album “Tables of Changes“ some of the highlights of these performances are documented and put together as a coherent unit. With this album they continue their musical dialogue.

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Going to see Coltrane at the Vanguard and living in the flat across the hall from Ornette Coleman... how's that for living experiences!

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THE SUN RA ARKESTRA
(Previously Unreleased Material)

Beautiful editions from Trost Records of the Sun Ra Arkestra live at Jazzgalerie Nickelsdorf in Austria on the 11th of March 1984. (with John Gilmore and Marshall Allen). It comprises the complete concert (nearly three hours) and its edited on a 3CD digipak and a 4LP box set.

Both editions are very well presented. The vinyl box is a limited edition of 1000 copies.

The vibe is relaxed with that certain je-m'en-foutisme that one only finds when traveling the spaceways in such pleasant company. Only a sadist would deny him/herself the pleasure of this music.

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First 4 LPs on a Concord Jazz series that bring to vinyl great albums. All print outs are limited edition, 180 gram pressings and they really look the real deal.
The sound matches their looks and, in the case of Sonny Rollins’ Here’s to The People, appears here for the first time ever on vinyl!

1434640946

JOSE JAMES – YESTERDAY I HAD THE BLUES
The Music of Billie Holiday

Undertaking the songs of Billie Holiday does not seem a good idea for any singer. In fact we could be excused for, initially, feel skeptical at least.

However, the tribute album of Jose James to Billie Holiday stands out as simply brilliant. James succeeds beyond creating great music; he truly captures the essence of Holiday’s spirit backed up with an impressive line-up; Jason Moran (p), John Patitucci (b) and Eric Harland (d).

To top it up, stepping outside of Holiday’s body of work devoted to relationships, James caps the recording with a stunning rendition of “Strange Fruit”.

This album was awarded a 5-star review (Masterpiece) on Downbeat’s May edition.

Beyond the music itself it is worth to point up the new impulse producer Don Was has given to the Blue Note label all round. This album shows great artwork, very much in line to what we are used to associate with the timeless iconography of the label.

1434638184

For all of us with a sweet tooth for collectable albums Phono Records new releases seem to have been made with a telescopic sight.

Leo Parker, Lars Gullin, Hampton Hawes, Sonny Clark, Tina Brooks, Pepper Adams and Sonny Criss.

Check the label’s page on our website for a full listing and see what’s missing in your collection!!

1434638184

For all of us with a sweet tooth for collectable albums Phono Records new releases seem to have been made with a telescopic sight.

Leo Parker, Lars Gullin, Hampton Hawes, Sonny Clark, Tina Brooks, Pepper Adams and Sonny Criss.

Check the label’s page on our website for a full listing and see what’s missing in your collection!!

1434635586

CRESCENT

Saxophonist and jazz educator George Garzone (who counts among his students players like Joshua Redman, Branford Marsalis, Seamus Blake, Mark Turner, Donny McCaslin to name a few) teams up here with the very much talented (and unruly!... we like that!) bass player Esperanza Spalding as well as pianist Leo Genovese for a truly enjoyable album.

This album comes out under JazzHang Records (an independent artist cooperative) based in the West Coast. A casual trio project where everyone digs in for a good time displaying amazing artistry coupled with a kindred spirit that is infectious.

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BILLIE HOLIDAY ANNIVERSARY

This year is the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Billie Holiday’s birthday. There have been many albums out to commemorate but we would like to highlight here 3 albums which, for us, stand out.

Banned from New York City – Live 1948 – 1957

And yet, another great album by the epitome of the collector labels. Uptown Records has produced a 2CD set on which various previously unknown broadcast recordings come to light.

Lady in Satin – The Centennial Edition (3CD Deluxe Box Set)

Billie’s penultimate studio album recorded in 1958 (17 months before her death at the age of 44) was said to be her personal favourite. The edition is complete, just as it happened in the studio, with almost two hours of never before releases complete outtakes.

The Complete Commodore Recordings

The complete sessions for the legendary Commodore label recorded between her contracts for Columbia/Okeh and Decca. Two rare tracks of her only recordings with Artie Shaw and Paul Whiteman Orchestras have been added as bonus.

1434626824

THE NEW JAZZ ORCHESTRA

Two highly collectable albums for The New Jazz Orchestra (although a Symphony of Amaranths is under the name of Neil Ardley) which frames the who’s who in the modern British Jazz Scene.

Both albums have been re-mastered from the studio tapes and are issued for the first time on CD on very attractive digipak editions!

1434625972

Our jaws dropped to the floor and our eyebrows touched our hairline when we first listened to these albums!

We all know Xanadu as the record label on the 70’s and 80’s founded by veteran producer Don Schlitten (also associated with such groundbreaking imprints as Signal, Prestige, Cobblestone, Muse and Onyx) but we are overjoyed to see these albums out (for the first time on CD some of them!) after sooo long.

Digitally re-mastered with a 16 page booklet with extensive liner notes these series have been supervised by Don Schlitten himself. The sound is fantastic, presentation very much looked after and the music consistently excellent throughout.

There are up to 17 titles on cue for this collection with artists of the likes of Kenny Barron, Teddy Edwards, Ronnie Cuber, Dexter Gordon & Al Cohn, Dolo Coker, Kenny Drew, Charles McPherson, Sonny Criss, Jimmy Rayney...

Great consensus on our favorite (so far) album here at Jazz Messengers around the double CD Night Flight To Dakar – Recorded Live! In Senegal, West Africa documenting late-70s tour of West Africa coordinated by the U.S. State Department.

1434625972

Our jaws dropped to the floor and our eyebrows touched our hairline when we first listened to these albums!

We all know Xanadu as the record label on the 70’s and 80’s founded by veteran producer Don Schlitten (also associated with such groundbreaking imprints as Signal, Prestige, Cobblestone, Muse and Onyx) but we are overjoyed to see these albums out (for the first time on CD some of them!) after sooo long.

Digitally re-mastered with a 16 page booklet with extensive liner notes these series have been supervised by Don Schlitten himself. The sound is fantastic, presentation very much looked after and the music consistently excellent throughout.

There are up to 17 titles on cue for this collection with artists of the likes of Kenny Barron, Teddy Edwards, Ronnie Cuber, Dexter Gordon & Al Cohn, Dolo Coker, Kenny Drew, Charles McPherson, Sonny Criss, Jimmy Rayney...

Great consensus on our favorite (so far) album here at Jazz Messengers around the double CD Night Flight To Dakar – Recorded Live! In Senegal, West Africa documenting late-70s tour of West Africa coordinated by the U.S. State Department.

1434624204

The rebirth of Okeh Records as a jazz label!

Since 2013 Okeh (Sony owned) has been releasing a great selection of jazz albums (always arguably, of course). These two latest releases do no less that ratify this upward line.

Dee Dee Bridgewater backed up by an excelent Irvin Mayfield on 'Dee Dee's Feathers' and a superb Branford Marsalis Quartet recorded live at the Bimhuis performing John Coltrane's A Love Supreme are, both, very enjoyable.

We will follow intently what comes next!

1434623473

SONNY ROLLINS QUARTET With DON CHERRY

Now, this a a bit of a find!!

A very well presented 6 CD box set comprising the complete Sonny Rollins engagement at the Village Gate in 1962. These live dates were only documented briefly on a previous LP for RCA Victor and due to space were highly edited and just offered a selection of the music.

Now however, all existing music on these dates comes out in all its glory and full length. This is, as well, the first ever recordings of Sonny Rollins and Don Cherry together.
The box also comes with a very comprehensive 20 page booklet.