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Best New Reissues: Nina Simone, Ornette Coleman, Mort Garson, Lonnie Smith, Ike Quebec and Lounge Exotica!

Best New Reissues

Best New Reissues: Nina Simone, Ornette Coleman, Mort Garson, Lonnie Smith, Ike Quebec and Lounge Exotica!

Lots of Jazz modes, synthesiser bleeps and some highly intoxicating Exotica…

Hello, Friends.

Starting off this week with some proper lounge lizard energy and the latest (fantastic) edition under the (fantastic) ‘Psychédélique’ compilation series from Two-Piers Records. Label co-founder Mark McQuillan and proper record shop head Spencer Hickman have deep-dived into the Instrumental and Easy Listening racks for an absolutely glorious trip through soundtracks, Exotica, psychedelic-jazz and other tiki energy. Names you’ll know, some you won’t, lost gems and absolute vibe setters. A really loving celebration of the 1950s and 1960s.

+ Available on limited double Mint Green colour vinyl.

You've Got To Learn is a pretty magical live set from Nina Simone, recorded at the famous Newport Jazz Festival in 1966. On reading the excellent liners (by scholar and author Shana L. Redmond), we understand that Newport promoter George Wein had donated the tapes of Simone's performance to the US Library of Congress, where they lay forgotten until Wein's passing in 2021. It is masterful stuff, flowing from delicate and meditative to positively furious. Absolutely electrifying.

+ Available on limited Cream colour vinyl.

Now for Something Else!!! Contemporary Records’ Acoustic Sounds Series presents an absolutely lush 180-gram LP edition of Ornette Coleman’s debut Something Else!!! Historically cited as one of the first popular (although it wasn’t) free jazz albums, it also has quite a blues influence as it flows in and out of bebop.

+ All-Analogue mastered from the original analog tapes by Bernie Grundman and pressed at QRP.

Mort Garson - Journey To The Moon And Beyond

Two crackers under the Blue Note 'Classic Vinyl’ series this week too, with Turning Point from American organist Lonnie Smith and the soulful Heavy Soul from tenor saxophonist Ike Quebec. Turning Point has such a groove, a late-sixties wooze with a handful of covers (including The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby”) and a couple of really searching originals. Heavy Soul is just that; rich in melody, in both faster and slower modes. It was a huge comeback for Quebec, who had missed the majority of the fifties after rising to prominence in the 1940s. Great stuff.

+ Both releases are All Analog Remastered and pressed on 180 Gram black vinyl

Lastly for today, we have a new anthology of under-celebrated work from Moog pioneer Mort Garson. Journey To The Moon And Beyond centres around the epic ‘Moon Journey’ that CBS had commissioned to soundtrack the 1969 moon landing - which had a pretty big TV audience as we recall - but otherwise this collection compiles other directions of his, including TV commercial work, a 1974 blaxploitation soundtrack and archive tapes that remain a mystery. Plenty of the expected beeps and bleeps, but some real heart to the arrangements. Although erratic, there is a hypnotic vibe across it all that keeps everything stitched together.

+ Available on a limited ‘Mars Red’ coloured vinyl with a poster. The die cut sleeve is superb.