FEATURING 180-GRAM VINYL REISSUES OF THE ICONIC LABELS’ CLASSIC ALBUMS; DAVID KESSEL ON VERVE RECORDS FOUNDER NORMAN GRANZ
By Harvey Kubernik © 2019
In 2019 Verve and Impulse! Records, together with UMe, launched their new series Vital Vinyl, a celebration of essential jazz LPs from the iconic labels’ enduring catalogs.
Throughout the year, the labels are making some of their most beloved must-have albums from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s available once again as non-limited editions LPs, pressed on audiophile grade 180-gram black vinyl and showcased with their original cover artwork, track listings and liner notes.
The records will be released in three batches with the first available today followed by the second on May 3 and the final installment on June 7. Continue reading
June 2018 Release by Impulse Records; Sonny Rollins Way Out West 60th Anniversary Edition Now Out on Craft Recordings
By Harvey Kubernik 2018
55 years after it was recorded, John Coltrane’s studio album Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album is finally available in June 2018 on Impulse! (Verve Label Group). Recorded at Van Gelder Studios in New Jersey 1963 with the Classic Quartet (John Coltrane, Jimmy Garrison, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones).
Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album is an incredible success for this lost album finally seeing the light of day and released on all streaming partners, and on CD and vinyl in standard and deluxe formats.
Danny Bennett, President and CEO of the Verve Label Group and home of Impulse! Records, offered, “Jazz is more relevant today than ever. It’s becoming the alternative music of the 21st century, and no one embodies the boundary-breaking essence of jazz more than John Coltrane. He was a visionary who changed the course of music, and this lost album is a once-in-a-lifetime discovery. It gives us insight into his creative process and connects us to his artistry. This album is a cultural moment and the release coincides perfectly with our relaunch of the iconic Impulse! label.”
Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album is a major addition to the Coltrane catalogue and the most important jazz discovery in recent memory. This recently discovered “gift” was sourced from a reference tape that Coltrane had brought to his home in Queens that he shared with his wife Naima. These tapes remained untouched for 54 years until Impulse! approached the family about finally making this lost album available. The master tape was never found-Rudy Van Gelder wasn’t one for clutter-however the reference tape was discovered to be in excellent condition. Continue reading
Officially Available For First Time in New Box Set in Latest Volume in Award-Winning Miles Davis Bootleg Series
By Harvey Kubernik c 2018
In March, Columbia/Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, released Miles Davis & John Coltrane-The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6
Available in 4CD boxset and digital configurations, Miles Davis & John Coltrane-The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6 brings together, for the first time in an authorized edition with state-of-the-art production, five mythic concert performances as heard by lucky audiences during the epochal Spring 1960 Jazz At The Philharmonic European Tour presented by impresario Norman Granz.
Showcasing the musical chemistry shared by Miles and Trane, Miles Davis & John Coltrane-The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6 offers five of the best recorded shows from that pivotal 1960 tour (Coltrane’s last as sideman): two shows from Paris’s L’Olympia Theater on Monday, March 21; two shows from the next night at Stockholm’s Konserthuset; and one from Copenhagen’s Tivolis Koncertsal three days later, on March 24.
The box set was produced by the multi-Grammy winning team of producers Steve Berkowitz, Michael Cuscuna and Richard Seidel. And mastered by multi-Grammy winning Sony Music engineer Mark Wilder. The set is authorized for official release by the Miles Davis Estate, the John Coltrane Estate, and Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings. Erin Davis, Cheryl Davis and Vince Wilburn, Jr. are Executive Producers. Continue reading
By Harvey Kubernik c 2017
Saxophonist John Coltrane died on July 17, 1967 in Huntington Hospital in Huntington, New York in Long Island after a brief bout with liver cancer.
“Mourned by as many rock musicians as those from the jazz world, he was a courtly, soft-spoken gentleman from North Carolina, who pursued the roiling, labyrinthine currents of improvisation, from the postwar abandonment of big-band swing in favor of the fractious sounds of bebop and beyond,” observed keyboardist and author Kenneth Kubernik.
“In each step of his evolution, beginning with Dizzy Gillespie’s orchestra, through his tenure with Miles Davis and his own stentorian ‘classic quartet,’ Coltrane revised and refined his ‘voice,’ a burnished, muscular tenor, liquidly velvet on ballads, coruscating on up-tempo numbers.
“Coltrane recognized that music’s capacity for astonishment, for both the performer and the alert listener, was much more than diligent practice—his fearsome virtuosity would often lead him into thickets of stifling verbosity, as off-putting as an electric guitar’s noxious feedback. The sounds he heard in his head—the quest for pure intent—compelled him to eschew the Great American Songbook, that litany of Broadway standards that were long the heart and soul of jazz, for an unforgiving ascent into cacophony.” Continue reading