17 OCT 14 CONCORD MUSIC GROUP
Concord Music Group is proud to announce the forthcoming vinyl reissue of Bill Evans’ The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961, one of the greatest live jazz recording sessions of all time. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl, the four-LPs box set is packaged with a 12-page booklet, complete with new liner notes by reissue producer Bill Belmont, as well as the original liner notes by the producer of the initial recordings, Orrin Keepnews. Reproductions of Keepnews’ session annotations and photographer Steve Schapiro’s proof sheets from the performances add vintage context to the packaging. As a bonus, a stunning metallic and black poster of the famous cover—Evans, in profile, deep in concentration at his piano—completes the box set.
Ranked time after time as one of the best live jazz recording sessions in history, and yielding two of Evans’ most classic albums (Waltz for Debby, Sunday at the Village Vanguard), The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961 represents the pinnacle of spontaneous musical communication: three men breathing as one on a tiny bandstand. The performances on these LPs demonstrate a new and more interactive approach to playing as a trio, one in which all instruments carry melodic responsibilities and function as equal voices. Keepnews recalls in his liner notes that “from the very first moments of the recording, it was impossible to ignore the importance of these performances.”
Everything Bill Evans, Scott LaFaro, and Paul Motian had been working on for the previous 18 months led to this moment on June 25, 1961. The little-known pianist and his trio performed afternoon and evening sets that Sunday to a small audience that unknowingly sat through what would become a very famous—and final—set by the trio (the 25-year old LeFaro died tragically in a car accident just days later). These recordings provide something of a sonic time capsule: sequenced in the original order of the five sets, the audience’s murmurings and applause are peppered throughout; even an interrupted take is left intact. Belmont recalls the process of piecing the performance back together during the remastering process: “As was the practice with early live recording, the songs [on the original album] were faded just after the last note, and much, if not all, of the audience and banter from the stage was removed. So the first stage of the process was to find the reels—if they existed—and try and make a reconstruction of everything that was recorded…The task was to try to make the show flow as closely as possible to what had been recorded.”
17 JUN 14 CONCORD MUSIC GROUP
Japan has produced an impressive assemblage of jazz pianists, from Toshiko Akiyoshi and Makoto Ozone to Junko Onishi. And now, well into the change of the 21st century, the pianist/composer Hiromi Uehara is the latest in that line of amazing musicians. Her ninth CD as a leader, Alive, heralds the return of Hiromi’s Trio Project, featuring contrabass guitarist Anthony Jackson (Steely Dan, Paul Simon, Michel Camilo, The O’Jays and Chick Corea) and drummer Simon Phillips (Toto, The Who, Judas Priest, David Gilmour and Jack Bruce). This terrific triad, which DownBeat magazine proclaimed as “one of the most exciting groups working in any genre today,” first formed in 2011 and recorded their first album Voice that year, followed by Move in 2013. On Alive, Phillips’ powerful, yet poetic percussion and Jackson’s flowing, glow-in-the-dark basslines beautifully buoy and support Hiromi’s ingenious and impassioned improvisations. Her evocative and expansive compositions evoke the myriad moods and mysteries of life and reveal the soulful, syncopated simpatico of her thrilling threesome.
“Alive has a double meaning for me,” Hiromi says. “I wanted to write songs that deal with things and emotions that we encounter in life. But the word Alive can also mean ‘played live.’ I’ve been performing with Simon and Anthony for four years. We’ve made three records together, and we’ve done so many live shows as a trio. We have a great time being adventurous, and I felt that we can make the record sound like a live recording in front of the audience.”
That’s the great thing about having a working trio: We understand how to make each other shine. Anthony is an amazing improviser. He composes incredible counter-lines when I solo, and he always plays something to make [the music] shine even more. And Simon has an amazing tone and a beautiful sound on the drums; he's like an orchestra. They can play anything, and they understand so many different genres of music. They have no boundaries. It’s been a great journey with this group.”
And the journey continues on Alive, featuring nine selections (all composed by Hiromi, beginning with the leadoff title track), which features a shimmering McCoy Tyner/Coltrane-like introduction that morphs into a torrid up-tempo pace. “I wanted the first track to sound like the beginning of life,” Hiromi says, “with every complicated and detailed combination of life’s creation.”
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11 JUN 14 CONCORD MUSIC GROUP
We celebrate Black Music 24/7, 365 here at Concord Music Group, nonetheless June is a special month, so along with new releases from Al Jarreau, Harvey Mason, Dianne Reeves and Kris Bowers—and some classic catalog titles, we are proud to share with you a FREE copy of our annual Black Music Month Sampler:
Soul'd Out! Volume 4
There truly is some special music included on this year’s sampler, so whether it is Cannonball Adderley serenading all the “Gemini’s” or Kris Bowers “Waking the Neighbors,” we cover the spectrum of Black Music with sound, style and of course soul!
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28 MAY 14 CONCORD MUSIC GROUP
2014 marks the 65th Anniversary of the legendary jazz imprint Prestige Records. To celebrate, we're presenting timeless recordings by five of the greatest artists in the history of jazz with vinyl reissues, high-resolution downloads, t-shirts and other goodies.
We begin with the incomparable John Coltrane. Click HERE for more details.
Over the next few months we'll roll out exciting offers from Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins and Eric Dolphy. Stay tuned!
BROWSE ARCHIVE OF JAZZ VOICES