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First Time on CD: Sony Masterworks Jazz Releases More Classic Reissues

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Masterworks Jazz continues its celebration of the 40th Anniversary of CTI Records with reissues of four more classic CTI albums available on August 9. Available for the first time on CD are Airto Moreira's Fingers, Jackie Cain & Roy Kral's A Wider Alias, Joe Farrell's Outback and Randy Weston's Blue Moses. All four releases have been remastered for the first time using the original two-track analog tapes. Each 40th Anniversary Edition is packaged in a soft-pack sleeve that replicates each original LP and its iconic cover design.

In its 1974 review, DownBeat wrote of Airto's Fingers that “listening is a pleasure, but moving to it is more so." Now available for the first time ever on CD, the remarkable Brazilian percussionist Airto Moreira, joined by his wife and frequent partner, vocalist/percussionist Flora Purim collaborated to create a highly infectious album. Allmusic.com writes that it “demonstrates how exciting and creative 1970s fusion could be ... an album to savor."

Also available for the first time on CD, Jackie & Roy's A Wilder Alias (1974) is a fascinating detour for one of the most enduring and popular vocal duos in modern jazz, with a title that puns on the name of their favorite songwriter, Alec Wilder. On their one and only CTI recording, Jackie Cain and Roy Kral left behind their traditional, cool style to experiment with fusion, on a completely original album (Kral wrote all the tunes and plays electric piano on most of the tracks) built on dazzling wordless vocals and unconventional song structures.

A 1972 Grammy® nominee for Best Jazz Performance by a Group, Joe Farrell's Outback is “brilliant ... a stunner," writes Allmusic.com, “an album that is at least as inspired as anything Farrell ever recorded, and perhaps more so." Joined here by Chick Corea, Elvin Jones and Airto, Farrell, “pushes the envelope not only of his own previous conceptualism in jazz, but the CTI label's envelope as well. For starters, this is not a funk, soul, or fusion date, but an adventurous, spacey tightrope-walking exercise between open-ended composition and improvisation. That said, there is plenty of soul in the playing, not only by Farrell, but by all the players." Outback is now available for the first time ever on CD.

Blue Moses was pianist Randy Weston's most popular recording, reaching No. 16 on the Billboard Jazz chart in 1972. Backed by Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Grover Washington, Jr. (tenor sax) and the arrangements of Don Sebesky, this classic recording is now available on CD for the first time ever. Allmusic.com writes, “The music retains the African feel of most of Weston's latter-day playing but also has some commercial touches that do not hurt the performances ... Rewarding."

Sony MASTERWORKS Jazz kicked off the 40th anniversary celebration with the release of CTI Records: The Cool Revolution, a deluxe 4-CD multi-artist box set retrospective in 2010. Receiving rave reviews, The Associated Press dubbed it ..."the most comprehensive anthology to date" and NPR said it was ..." as striking a portrait of the Jazz World in the '70s as you'll find anywhere."

Also released in Fall 2010 was the double-CD restoration of California Concert: The Hollywood Palladium (1971) which included 90-minutes of music rarely heard and never before available. It is the most complete version of the historic Hollywood Palladium all-star concert recorded July 18, 1971. It doubles the content of the original five-song LP release with five additional tracks—three of them previously unreleased—and restores the original concert sequence for the first time. Creed Taylor hand-picked a dream team of CTI artists for the occasion: Freddie Hubbard, Hubert Laws, Hank Crawford, Stanley Turrentine, George Benson, Johnny Hammond, Ron Carter, {{Billy Cobham and Airto Moreira. Liner notes are by multi-Grammy winning musician-producer Bob Belden who says California Concert: The Hollywood Palladium ..."ranks up there with the greatest jazz concerts of all time..."

In the 1970s, CTI, its music, its style and its discriminating quality transformed contemporary jazz. The roster worked almost like a repertory company, in which great musicians took turns in the spotlight and accompanying each other. The albums they and their colleagues created set new standards in their look as well as their sound. “[Creed Taylor's] plan was ingeniously simple, yet famously maverick: record top-tier musicians, keeping their artistic integrity intact while also making their art palatable to the people. CTI thus achieved that rare balance of jazz and commercialism," writes Dan Ouellette in the liner notes. CTI surpassed the majors and fellow indies to be named the #1 Jazz Label of 1974 by Billboard. The immediate success of CTI's recordings has echoed across the decades in a profound influence on jazz, pop, R&B and hip-hop.

For more information on these releases, please visit www.CTIMasterworks.com.

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