2004 promises to provide a treasure trove of jazz and blues reissues. Labels will dig deep into their catalogues and tantalize us with lost gems, alternate takes and solos, remixes, extensive liner notes and reexamination of different artists and genres. This new column will tip you off to what is about to be released so you can start saving your money and building up your record collection.
Here is what is happening between now and February 24, 2004.
Attention record labels! Please email me your reissue schedules so I can include them in future lists.
JANUARY 20, 2004
- Benny Goodman - Small Groups (Collectors Choice) – This is a great collection from one of the most talented jazz bands ever to be recorded. This twenty-two track collection was culminated from various radio broadcasts and features none other than Fletcher Henderson and Gene Krupa in their prime. Tracks of note include “Stompin’ at the Savoy,” “Flying Home” and “Stardust.”
- Billie Holiday - Good Morning Blues: The Complete Columbia Recordings 1933-1950 (Universe) – a nine CD collection, nearly twelve hours of music, of all Holidays recordings from her most pivotal period, her years at Columbia Records. Hear Billie Holiday backed by the orchestras of jazz giants Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson, Benny Carter, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Eddie Heywood.
- Gene Ammons - 1949 – 1950 (Classic Jazz France) – featuring twenty-three chronological studio recordings from this two year period including “Hey, Mr. Freddy,” “Hot Springs,” “Pennies From Heaven” and “When You're Gone.”
- Sidney Bechet - 1950-1951 (Classic Jazz France) - featuring twenty-three chronological studio recordings from this two year period including “Society Blues,” “Wolverine Blues,” “King Porter Stomp” and “Avalon.”
- Lester Young - 1951-1952 (Classic Jazz France) – a 19 track retrospective of this two year period.
- T-Bone Walker - 1947-1950 (Classic Jazz France) – a twenty-four track collection of the pioneer of electric guitar.
- Joe Lutcher - 1941 (Classic Jazz France) - A nineteen track reissue.
- Tommy Dorsey and Orchestra - 1939, Volume 3 (Classic Jazz France) – the third installment of this twenty-two track look at the recordings of Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra in 1939 featuring Yank Lawson, Skeets Herfurt and Dave Jacobs among others.
- Various Artists - Back to the Crossroads: The Roots of Robert Johnson (Yazoo) – A solid look at artists like Charley Patton, Son House, Skip James and Scrapper Blackwell, all of whom helped shape Robert Johnson’s style.
- J.B. Lenoir - I Feel So Good: The 1951-1954 J.O.B. Sessions (Universe) – Another offering for those who caught a bit of a blues bug from the PBS documentary. Lenoir was a featured artist and this recording are from Lenoir's earliest sides in a very stripped-down setting. “Over half of the 14 sides feature Lenoir on guitar with only Sunnyland Slim on piano and Alfred Wallace on drums in support, with J.T. Brown on tenor sax aboard for the next session.” Highlights include "The Mojo (Boogie)" and "Lets Roll."
JANUARY 27, 2004
- Roy Ayers - Virgin Ubiquity (1976-1981) (Studio K7) – This album includes previously unreleased sides from Roy Ayers that is being released both on CD and vinyl.
- Rosemary Clooney - From Bing to Billie (Concord Jazz) – A double reissue of Clooney’s late seventy’s recordings of tributes to Bing Crosby and Billie Holiday.
- Miles Davis - Birdland 1951 (Blue Note) – A ten track live CD from a two night engagement featuring Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Big Nick Nicholas, J.J. Johnson, Kenny Drew, Billy Taylor, Charles Mingus, Tommy Potter, and Art Blakey performing such tunes as “Half Nelson,” “Move” and “Lady Bird."
- Phyllis Hyman - The Ultimate Phyllis Hyman (Arista)= A twenty track retrospective.
- Gene Krupa - Hot Drums (Quicksilver)
- Tito Puente - Party at Tito’s House (Concord) – a double reissue of the eighty’s records “On Broadway” and “Mambo Diablo.”
- Various Artists - Deep River of Song: Louisiana: Catch That Train & Testify! (Rounder)- Recorded between 1934 & 1940 by Alan Lomax featuring Leadbelly and Jellyroll Morton
- Big Bill Broonzy - All the Classic Sides 1928-1937 (JSP Import) – A five CD collection of Broonzy’s ground-breaking and masterful blues recordings.
- Big Joe Williams - Revisited (Fuel 2000) - A sixteen track reissue featuring Sonny Terry, Brownie McGee and Lightning Hopkins. Includes liner notes by Bill Dahl.
- Carmen McRae - The Art of Carmen McRae / For Once in My Life (Collectables) - a “Two-fer” offering of thirty three tracks from recordings from the mid nineteen seventies.
- Preservation Hall Jazz Band - Best of the Early Years (Preservation Hall Records) – Twelve track reissue (some unreleased) of recordings such as “Down By The Riverside,” “Peanut Vendor,” and “St. James Infirmary.”
- Sylvia Sims - The Columbia Years (Collectables) – fifteen tracks (4 of which are unreleased) from the Queen of the cabaret. Culminated from her recordings at Columbia including “Orchids in the Moonlight,” “Falling in Love with Love” and “Sweet September.”
- Various Artists - Live from the Cotton Club (Bear Family Germany) – a multi-artist (including Duke Ellington) live recording of a two night engagement in April of 1931. It features a hardbound book.
FEBRUARY 3, 2004
- Various Artists - 20 Years of Rykodisc (Rykodisc). This is a two-CD collection (for the price of one) of over 20 years of putting out music from this independent label. In addition to David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Richard Thompson, readers of this column will be interested in the inclusion of Morphine, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Robert Cray, Jimi Hendrix, and John Cale.
- John Fahey - The Best of John Fahey, Volume 2 1964-1983 (Takoma Records). A collection of cutting edge bluesy folk music from this recently departed genius. Tracks of note include “Oneonta,” “Twilight on Price George’s Avenue,” and “Tuff.” A sure-fire must have collection for 2004!
- Various Artists - Rags, Breakdowns, Stomps & Blues (Document Records). This collection covers the pre- 1940’s roots-recording era and this collections focus being on the mandolin. Some re-mastered recordings include Dallas String Band’s “Hokum Blues,” John Estes’ “Milk Cow Blues,” Gid Tanner & His Skillet Lickers’ “Hawkins Rag” and Ishman Bracey’s “Brown Mama Blues.” This collection is a total of 24 tracks and will include their usual excellent liner notes, photographs and essays.
- Various Artists - Trouble Hearted Blues (Document Records). Another ‘theme’ collection of pre-1940’s blues recordings from Document. This 21-song collection includes tracks by Bukka White, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Lockwood, Lottie Kimborough (one of my favorites “Rolling Log Blues”) and Robert Wilkens. Again, this collection will include their usual excellent liner notes, photographs and essays.
- Pete Christlieb - Apogee (Rhino Records). The kings of the reissue release this saxophonist’s 1978 recording with a nine-song collection which includes three bonus tracks. Christlieb can be that discovery of an artist that you should have heard of by now because he is an excellent musician and has been around for 40 years. Rounding out this Donald Fagan / Walter Becker production includes the Warne Marsh Quintet of Warne Marsh, Lou Levy, Jim Highart and Nick Ceroli.
- Ornette Coleman - Ornette (Rhino Records) - Includes a bonus track, “Proofreaders.” The other recordings are “WRU,” “T&T,” “C&D” and “RPDD.” Performers on this album include Don Cherry, Scott LaFaro and Ed Blackwell.
- Bill Evans - You Must Believe in Spring (Rhino Records) – A remastered re-release of this 1977 recording which features Eddie Gomez and Eliot Zigmund. This set includes the pianists take on “The Theme from MASH” and has several bonus tracks.
- Various Artists - Soul Comes Home: Celebration Of Stax Records (Shout Factory) – This CD and DVD celebrates the sweet soul music of Memphis’ Stax record label (Also it’s re-built studio / museum) and the artists that made it famous. These are live recordings made in 2003 (so not really a reissue, but pertinent, none the less). It features the living greats – Al Green, Solomon Burke, Booker T & the MG’s, Isaac Hayes and Mavis Staples.
- Errol Gardner - Greatest Gardner (Rhino Records) - Includes bonus tracks.
- YellowJackets - Yellowjackets (Rhino Records) - Includes bonus tracks.
- Duke Ellington - At the Hollywood Empire: Original 1949 Transcriptions (Storyville) – This is the initial release of trio and solo piano radio performances.
- Art Tatum - Live 1951, Vol. 5 (Storyville) - This is the initial release of trio and solo piano concert performances from the Embers Club in New York City.
FEBRUARY 10, 2004
- Various Artists - Groovin’ High: The Ultimate Trumpet Collection (Savoy Jazz). Digging deep into their vaults, they compile 14 excellent tracks that feature the trumpet. Included in this collection are Dizzy Gillespie’s “Birk’s Works,” Fats Navarro’s “Nostalgia,” Miles Davis’ “Milestones,” and Art Farmer’s “Blue Bossa.” Also included are tracks by Randy Brecker, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan and Nat Adderley. High-energy good times are assured!
- Various Artists - The Ultimate Tenor Sax Collection (Savoy Jazz). Again digging into their bountiful archives, Savoy compiles an excellent exploration of the tenor sax. Included here are fifteen tracks anchored by Lester Young’s “June Bug,” Ben Webster’s “Blue Skies,” John Coltrane’s “E.F.F.P.H,” and Sonny Rollins’ “Audubon.” Rounding out this set are recordings by Illinois Jacquet, Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon, James Moody and Yusef Lateef.
- Count Basie - Jukebox Hits 1940-1952 (Acrobat)
- Duke Ellington - Jukebox Hits 1941-1951 (Acrobat) – These two packages explore the radio and jukebox hits (Cashbox, Billboard, Hit Parade, etc) from Basie and Ellington.
- Earl Hines & Marva Josie - Jazz is his Old Lady & My Old Man (Acrobat) – this is a reissue of their 1977 recording from Catalyst Records.
- Abdullah Ibrahim - African Suite (Enja) – this is from the South African pianist’s 1997 recording featuring a 20 part string orchestra with his trio.
- Abdullah Ibrahim - Cape Town Revisited (Enja) – this is from his live quartet recording from December 1997.
- Count Basie - Live at Newport (Verve) - Recorded in July 1957 in Newport, Rhode Island and features five bonus tracks.
- Dinah Washington - After Hours with Miss D (Verve) – A nine track collection (with both an edited and bonus unedited version of ‘Blue Skies’) that was recorded in June 1953, Chicago, Illinois and February and June 1954 in New York, New York and featured Clark Terry.
From ECM Records, the ‘Rarum’ series enlists the artist’s opinions and participation as to what tracks should be included in their particular collection and the sequencing. They usually also include liner notes and photos from the artist. To be released this month are:
- Pat Metheny - Rarum IX: Selected Recordings – This nine track collection was recorded in Norway, Germany and the United States between 1975 and 1984, includes liner notes by Pat Metheny and features Jaco Pastorius, Bob Moses, Lyle Mays, Michael Brecker, Charlie Haden, Jack DeJohnette, Nana Vasconcelos and Billy Higgins.
- Jack DeJohnette - Rarum XII: Selected Recordings – This seven track collection was recorded in Oslo, Norway; Los Angeles, California and New York, New York, United States between 1971 and 1997 and features Keith Jarrett, Lester Bowie, Mick Goodrick, Dave Holland, John Abercrombie, David Murray, Howard Johnson and Eddie Gomez.
- John Surman - Rarum XIII: Selected Recordings – A thirteen track collection that was recorded in Norway, Germany and England between 1976 and 1999 and it includes liner notes by John Surman.
- John Abercrombie - Rarum XIV: Selected Recordings – Guests artists include on this 10 track collection recorded in German between 1974 and 2000 Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, Ralph Towner, Richard Beirach, Marc Johnson, Peter Erskine, Marc Feldman and Joey Baron.
- Tomasz Stanko - Rarum XVII: Selected Recordings – This twelve track retrospective was recorded in Oslo, Norway and Ludwigsburg, Germany between 1975 and 1998 and features Bobo Stenson, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, Jan Garbarek, Tony Oxley, John Surman, Gary Peacock and Bernt Rosengren.
- Eberhard Weber - Rarum XVIII: Selected Recordings – a ten track retrospective recorded in Norway and Germany between 1974 and 2000 and featuring liner notes by the artist.
FEBRUARY 17, 2004
From Chronological Classics:
Duke Ellington Sony Legacy Reissues:
- Artie Shaw - 1945-1946
- T-Bone Walker - 1947-1950
- Red Nichols - 1929
- Herman Chittison - 1945-1950
- Hal Singer - 1948-1951
- Frankie Trumbauer - 1936-1946
- Helen Humes - 1948-1950
- Joe Lutcher - 1947 – These are all one CD collections of the best recording by the artist during the period that the album is named after.
- Tangle Eye - Alan Lomax’s Southern Journey Remixed (Rounder Records). Rounder remixes Alan Lomax’s various field recordings from his southern journey for the Library of Congress with added music, beats and sounds by Tangle Eye. They remix such recordings as “Oh Death,” “John Henry’s Blues,” and “Work Song.” I haven’t heard this one yet, so I couldn’t tell one way or another if this concept will work.
- Roy Eldridge - Little Jazz Giant (Avid) –“3-CD box set presents the work of jazz trumpet hero Roy Eldridge from 1935 with The Delta Four to fronting his own swing combo in 1937,then a period of big band success before Roy joined Artie Shaw in Following appearances in Europe including Paris and Stockholm, two great jazz cities, Roy returned to New York to fulfill an ambition to record with strings before finishing off this musical journey with four tracks recorded with Oscar Peterson in 1952. “
- Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee - 1938-1948 (JSP) – this is a five CD collection of the blues harp player with guitarist Brownie McGhee where all tracks have been digitally remastered.
- McCoy Tyner - Hip Toe: Live at the Musicians Exchange Café 1987 (Universe) Jo Stafford “Columbia Singles Collection” (Universe) – “This 1987 live date from a Fort Lauderdale. The highlight of this CD is Tyner's gorgeous ballad "You Taught My Heart to Sing," which later had a lyric added by the great Sammy Cahn; this song has since become a regular feature of the pianist's live appearances and has the potential to become a standard.
- Art Pepper - Besame Mucho (JVC) – “This is the second live Art Pepper Album recorded in Tokyo in 1979 to be released on XCRCD24! This album features the talents of George Cables, Tony Dumas and Billy Higgins and includes the Pepper standards “The Shadow of Your Smile,” “Mambo De La Pinta” and “Besame Mucho,” a Pepper Fan Favorite.
- Ellington Uptown – this is from his 1953 release, which also includes “The Librarian Suite.”
- Masterpieces by Ellington – this is from 1950 and includes bonus material.
- Festival Session – this is from 1959 and also includes bonus material
FEBRUARY 24, 2004
- Various Artists - Night Train to Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues, 1945 – 1970 (CMF Records). Speak the city Nashville and country will be the first and maybe the only genre that comes to mind. CMF hopes to dispel that misconception with this two CD set. The theme revolves around artists that recorded in Nashville as well as an exploration of local artists. This collection includes tracks by Etta James, Ruth Brown, Johnny Adams and Christine Kittrell. Detailed and informative liner notes and essays are included in this truly unique themed collection.
- Rev. Gary Davis - From Blues to Gospel (Shout! Factory) – This thirteen track collection marks the last recordings made by Davis, one year prior to his death.
- Dizzy Gillespie UN Orchestra - Live at the Royal Festival (Enja) – this reissue is from a 1997 release of a live recording.
- Wadada Leo Smith - Nu Frequency: Kabell Years 1971-1979 (Tzadik) – a four CD release featuring Oliver Lake and Anthony Davis. It includes over twenty-five pages of notes and photos, as well as almost two hours of bonus / unreleased material.
That should be it for the reissue parade for February. If any more are announced or discovered, I will get them right up. Until then, keep rediscovering the great recordings of the past!
THE TREASURE TROVE FOR MARCH – Reissues and box sets featuring Benny Goodman, Horace Silver, Dave Brubeck (5 CD box set), Count Basie, Carla Bley, Cecil Taylor, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Smith, Henry Mancini, Stanley Turrentine, Jon Christensen, Donald Byrd, Dave Holland, Mel Brown, Clark Terry, Yusef Lateef, Archie Shepp, Dee Dee Bridgewater and many others.
Attention record labels! Please email me your reissue schedules so I can include them in future lists.
For new releases, try the upcoming jazz release calendar at Jazzmatazz .