Best New Reissues: Ahmad Jamal, Gabor Szabó, David Bowie, Neil Young, The Hidden Cameras and Small Faces.

Best New Reissues: Ahmad Jamal, Gabor Szabó, David Bowie, Neil Young, The Hidden Cameras and Small Faces.

What a week, it’s almost like someone out there put together a set of bangers just for us!

Hello Friends.

A slightly sad tone to start the new week as we pay our respects to the visionary jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal who passed away over the weekend, aged 92. There simply is not a style or genre that he didn’t elevate across his seven decades as a performer. A genuine icon.

In a sort of sweet serendipity, we have a new reissue this week of his astounding 1970 LP, The Awakening. It’s a trio record with bassist Jamil Nasser and drummer Frank Gant that moves from the spacious through to the frenetic. This new pressing is released as part of the Verve By Request Series features and is a remastered transfer on 180-gram vinyl, pressed at Third Man in Detroit.

Also released this week under the Verve By Request Series (and also pressed on 180’ over at Third Man) is The Sorcerer, the bewitching collection from guitar virtuoso Gabor Szabó. The set was recorded live at Boston’s Jazz Workshop in 10967, with standards, pop covers and the amazing psychedelic jam, “Space”. Highly recommended.

David Bowie - Aladdin Sane

Last Thursday (13th April) marked the fiftieth anniversary of the release of David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane. Released just ten months after his landmark The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Aladdin Sane is an amazing evolution, with rich and woozing new tones. The reissue has been done right; Cut on a customised late Neumann VMS80 lathe with fully recapped electronics from 192kHz restored masters of the original master tapes, with no additional processing on transfer. Available as both a half-speed master (cut by John Webber at AIR Studios) and also a limited picture disc.

Somewhere Under The Rainbow is the much revered live album from Neil Young with the Santa Monica Flyers - Nils Lofgren (lead and rhythm guitar, piano, accordion, vocals), Ben Keith (pedal steel guitar, vocals), Billy Talbot (bass, vocals) and Ralph Molina (drums, vocals - recorded live at the Rainbow Theatre in London on Nov 5th 1973. Super tight, but still with that free-roaming energy.

Similar but different, we have a repress of the rockin’ High Flyin', a 1977 double LP recorded by a storied Northern California aggregation called The Ducks. It was a band that often made unannounced appearances in their own backyards at clubs like the Back Room, The Crossroads Club, The Catalyst and others, featuring Neil Young (guitar, harmonica and vocals), Bob Mosley (bass and vocals), Jeff Blackburn (guitar and vocals) and Johnny Craviotto (drums & vocals). Bootlegged for decades, it’s a hoot to have a decent copy for the stereo.

Neil Young With The Santa Monica Flyers - Somewhere Under The Rainbow

Rough Trade Records have issued a twentieth anniversary, deluxe pressing of The Smell Of Our Own, the debut LP from Toronto jangle-pop supremos The Hidden Cameras. Great band and this one stands up phenomenally well. It’s pressed on double Yellow vinyl and features bonus demos and live session recordings.

Craft Recordings reissue Purdie Good!, the 1971 session from drummer extraordinaire, Bernard Purdie. This 180-gram reissue of Purdie Good! was cut from the original analog tapes by Kevin Gray and pressed at RTI, and comes packaged in a tip-on jacket.

Concord reissue John Lee Hooker’s highly influential Burnin'. The bluesman worked with Motown session musicians for a much fuller sound, which was a huge departure at the time regardless of the inclusion of the inimitable 'Boom Boom'.

Another couple of Small Faces reissues this week with There Are But Four Small Faces and The Immediate Years 1967-1969 compilation. For the first time ever, all the correct single versions are included, newly remastered from recently discovered original mono master tapes by Matt Colton. The definitive edition of There Are But Four Small Faces has been overseen by surviving band members Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan and features previously unseen memorabilia and photography, plus In-depth sleeve notes.

We could listen to this band all day long.

Ninja Tune have released a 20th Anniversary Edition of The Cinematic Orchestra’s Every Day. It’s a lush edition across 3 LPs, with limited edition translucent red 140g vinyl featuring four bonus tracks from the time, some not released on vinyl before.

Joey Bada$$’s 2000 has just arrived (and is right good), and we also think that De La Soul’s Magenta vinyl version of 3 Feet High and Rising is due to land imminently!

It’s gonna be a huge old week and this felt like a great way to kick it all off!

- Drift


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