Best New Reissues: Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, Big John Patton, Jimmy Smith, Horace Silver, Roy Haynes, Ornette Coleman, Shelly Manne and The Who.

Best New Reissues: Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, Big John Patton, Jimmy Smith, Horace Silver, Roy Haynes, Ornette Coleman, Shelly Manne and The Who.

A week of absolutely killer jazz reissues and some not-jazz LPs that are pretty tasty too…

Shall we start with the Jazz? Guys, it’s plentiful!

Firstly, one to be right up there in any conversation about essential free jazz records, Sun Ra’s seminal Space Is The Place is a daddy of experimentalism! Avant-garde jazz and Afrofuturism colliding in a space that is neither modern or ancient. It’s somewhere else, man. It’s a treat.

Pressed on 180-gram vinyl at Third Man in Detroit as part of the This Verve By Request series.

Pharoah, from Pharoah Sanders truly is one for cosmic goodness! Legitimately one of the great works of the 20th century, it floats along with real serenity. It is so distinct, with a feeling and presence of its own. Magic.

Frequently bootlegged, this is the first official version since 1977. This edition includes two previously unreleased live performances of the masterpiece “Harvest Time,” performed during a European tour in the summer of ’77. Geddon Luaka Bop!

Jazz delivers...

Going earlier next for a proper Hammond groover and Big John Patton’s Let 'Em Roll. It really has that cool lean with a sick lineup of musicians including Otis Finch on drums, Bobby Hutcherson on the vibes and Grant Green firing up and down the frets.

This stereo Tone Poet Vinyl Edition was produced by Joe Harley, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original analogue master tapes, pressed on 180g vinyl at RTI, and packaged in a deluxe gatefold tip-on jacket.

Keeping it groovy on the Hammond keys, Midnight Special is another essential from the main man Jimmy Smith. Amazingly, the album was recorded in the same one day session as Back at the Chicken Shack. Such a great set, proper cool.

Released as part of the Blue Note Classic Vinyl series. Stereo, all-analogue, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original tapes and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.

Also released on the Blue Note Classic Vinyl series is Horace Silver’s hard-boppin’ Blowin' the Blues Away. It has such a pace to it and the players are locked so tight. It really is formidable stuff. Same impressive reissue specs as Midnight Special.

Roy Haynes’ excellent post-bop Out Of The Afternoon gets a real nice repress this week. Recorded with a one-off quartet, it’s often regarded a lost gem and has some really lush improvisational energy amongst the modes.

Reissued as part of Verve’s Acoustic Sounds Series, featuring transfers from analogue tapes and remastered 180-gram vinyl in deluxe gatefold packaging.

Craft Recordings get in on the act too, with a couple of greats. Ornette Coleman’s Tomorrow Is The Question! Is a belter. He famously stripped back the piano and it gave the quintet loads more room to start eeking ever wilder. The energy is tense. Also, we have Shelly Manne (who appears as part of Tomorrow Is The Question!) & His Friends’ music for the Broadway performance of My Fair Lady. It’s very cool and remains one of the best-selling jazz albums of its day.

Both releases feature ALL-ANALOGUE mastering from the original analogue tapes by Bernie Grundman, which were pressed at QRP and presented in tip-on jackets.

So, that lot will have blown some serious jazz-head-lids.

Elsewhere this week, we have arrived on the fifth and sixth album reissues from De La Soul with Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump and AOI: Bionix. Both continued to take the trio into new spaces with some amazing collaborations weaved into the mix.

Ninja Tune presents a limited 20th Anniversary Edition of The Stix, the third studio LP from Norwegian band Jaga Jazzist. Tight beats, but a live sort of groove. Pressed on double Orange/Red transparent colour vinyl.

Soul Jazz have pressed a new 20th anniversary edition of their long out-of-print Miami Sound: Rare Funk and Soul from Miami, Florida, 1967-74. Man, it is as serious as a heart attack. The title tells you all you need to know, these are rare and grooving, it’s a trip.

The ever so noisy Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs have made their King Of Cowards album available for the first time since its release a fraction under five years ago. It remains, loud af and absolutely essential.

The Who

We have to be totally honest for today's final dispatches, we’re pretty take-it-or-leave-it in general regarding The Who… but, Who’s Next (that receives a lavish 50th Anniversary Pressing) is both formidable and pretty essential listening. All four of the band are doing their own thing to 101% of their powers, and that in conjunction with Pete Townshend’s synth on Baba O'Riley and Won’t Get Fooled Again (that pretty much instantly changed popular rock and roll) just places this one right into the all-time rock ‘n’ roll canon. Probably the best pissing on something sleeve too, not that we need any other suggestions necessarily thanks very much.

Available as;

+ 4LP Edition: Black Vinyl, Original Album, plus Live In San Francisco 1971.
+ 1LP Exclusive: 180g, Coke Bottle Clear vinyl.
+ 1LP: 180g vinyl ½ speed remastered edition.

- Drift


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