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Cymande, Ben Folds Five, Hank Mobley, Stanley Turrentine, Sylvan Esso and Ron Geesin.

Best New Reissues

Cymande, Ben Folds Five, Hank Mobley, Stanley Turrentine, Sylvan Esso and Ron Geesin.

Reissues that we know we love and are thrilled to have back in print, and a few titles that we didn’t know too well and are equally thrilled to have back in print!

We have an absolute titan back in the racks to start this new week of music, sounding resplendent at fifty, with Promised Heights from Cymande. As children of the Windrush Generation, Cymande were part of the first wave of innovators and originators of the fledgling Black British music scene. There is a great film about the band actually, do check that out here.

Promised Heights really is glorious, 70s Afro-soul with some pretty funkin’ base (that was sampled to oblivion) and even some proto-disco directions. All three albums are fantastic, all essential.

+ Pressed on limited Opaque Pink colour vinyl.

Pretty sure that we made a positive din about it on announcement, but Ben Folds Five’s second LP - Whatever And Ever Amen - gets a first pressing since its 1997 release and it still sounds super charming. It had a nostalgic quality to it even on release, which only sounds more wistful now than it did then, piano bangers and ruminations on starting your growing up in Gen X. Although some of the ballards would go on to be the band’s most widely known and celebrated tracks, it’s when they get angry and really hammer the keys that this one takes off. A banger and it has been such a joy to play it out loud in the shop this weekend.
Ron Geesin Basic Maths

Two beauties as part of Blue Note’s Classic Vinyl series.

Hank Mobley’s 1962 Workout is a real legit classic, a smooth and winding bopper with the breeziest tones. The band are pretty phenomenal and they manage to get this one up to a pace without sounding like it’s over cooked. Really great stuff.

Released exactly a year earlier was Blue Hour from Stanley Turrentine And The Three Sounds, and that one really is a soulful smoothie. Turrentine’s tenor sax has the best tone here, such smokey late-night vibes without just covering any of the same motifs. Really great stuff.

+ Both editions are stereo, all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.

Lastly for the jazz records this week, Craft reissue Hampton HawesFor Real! It’s not one we really knew, but alongside Hawes on piano, Harold Land (tenor sax), Scott LaFaro (bass) and Frank Butler (drums) they really did capture something special here, graceful stuff. Feels like Harrold Land is one of our go to guys right now, and of course we spoke about Scott LaFaro’s bass work with Bill Evans recently here too.

+ This new edition of the album is released as part of the Contemporary Records Acoustic Sounds series and is pressed on 180-gram vinyl pressed at QRP with (AAA) lacquers cut from the original tapes by Bernie Grundman and is presented in a tip-on jacket.

Also this week we have a limited and lavish 10 Year Anniversary edition of Sylvan Esso’s self titled LP. Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy of The Cult have curated the previously released Death Cult collection Ghost Dance on a real-nice looking Crystal Clear with Black & White splatter vinyl pressing. Modest Mouse present an expanded 20th Anniversary Edition of their much-loved Good News For People Who Love Bad News. Baby Pink & Spring Green colour vinyl, plus an alternate album cover, 8-page booklet and five of the new remixes.

Lastly for today, one that is delighting and cracking us up in equal measure. Trunk have unearthed thirty original recordings by composer Ron Geesin for a progressive maths educational programme that was broadcast on Central TV in 1980. Yep!

On Basic Maths, the wooze is high. Mathematical jazz and electronic noodling that convey the non-verbal sounds of maths. We’d have to watch the show to really report back fully on its successes, but the soundtrack in isolation is really charming stuff with calming waves and jolly romps. We love it.