Stuff we knew, stuff we didn’t and some killer comps.
Kicking off this week's set of not-new goodness is Crescent, a hugely underrated mid-period John Coltrane LP that stands up against pretty much anything he put out. Less spiritual than A Love Supreme, less mellow than Ballads and less avant than Ascension; but with aspects of all that period and those records, brilliantly backed by McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones.
It is pressed as a Verve Acoustic Sounds Series and it... SOUNDS AMAZING.
The PJ Harvey reissue series arrives at album number eight this week with the excellent Let England Shake. Released in February 2011, it went on to be her second Mercury Music Prize win. As with the other essential releases in the series, we have an accompanying Demos release too.
Be With Records are cementing themselves as ones to watch with each edition. Willie Hutch's beautiful Season for Love gets a fresh '22 edition this week. Deep soul vibes, hell of a voice.
We wrote a few lines (and highlighted some links) on the weekend digest email a few weeks back about Israeli singer, songwriter and musician Charlie Megira. You can read that again here, and do check out Da Abtomatic Meisterzinger Mambo Chic via Numero, an exotic treasure.
Rough Trade Records release a 2022 pressing of Jenny Lewis' excellent first solo album. Jenny Lewis With The Watson Twins' Rabbit Fur Coat is a great set of songs and the production is really superb, warm and bright.
In the building in very short supply, we have the awesome power of Sunn O))) at BBC Maida Vale. Metta, Benevolence. BBC 6Music: Live on the invitation of Mary Anne Hobbs really is quite extraordinary. When they're gone...
After a little bit of a back-and-forth in production, Primal Scream's Live At Levitation debuts this week. Recorded in 2015 at Levitation in front of underground rock fans from around the world, they're in strong form. It has to be said, the splatter vinyl really does look hallucinatory.
A couple of excellent compilations to flag up this week for you.
Firstly, Soul Jazz Records Presents Life Between Islands – Soundsystem Culture: Black Musical Expression in the UK 1973-2006. The release coincides with Tate Britain’s exhibition of the same name and celebrates a lightning-rod journey across Roots Reggae, Jungle/Drum & Bass, Jazz-Funk, Lovers Rock, Jazz, Dubstep and more.
Also today we have Mainstream Funk: Funk, Soul, Spiritual Jazz 1971–1976 on Wewantsounds. Spiritual Jazz, Funk and Soul by the likes of Buddy Terry, Sarah Vaughan, LaMont Johnson and Johnny Coles, this has been a lifesaver this morning, super-light energy.
John Carroll Kirby's Cryptozoo: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack has arrived, as has the gripping The North Water [Original Score] from Tim Hecker.
Lastly today, we have the third and fourth parts of the Heavenly Remixes and they are all focused on the iconic hands and ears of Andrew Weatherall.
As the label explain; "Between 1990 and his untimely death in 2020, Andrew fed more Heavenly bands through the mixing desk than those of any other label. Consistently, he returned visionary music to the office, often in person for (at least) one ceremonial playback — a ritual that would involve the volume cranked up high and Andrew rocking back on his heels, eyes closed, lost in the alchemy of it all."
An amazing body of work, these really are essential listening. Available as a double CD, or as 2LP Volume 1 or 2LP Volume 2.