Hi-Res Jazz

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

Hi-Res Jazz focuses on new and remastered jazz recordings released on SACD and hi-res downloads. Labels such as Songlines and Chesky in North America, Linn in the UK, Challenge and Fone in Europe, and reissue labels Analogue Productions and Mobile Fidelity, produce challenging new jazz music and remasters of classic titles with special attention to high quality sound. Nearly all new jazz production is captured at high resolution in the studio, and hundreds of contemporary and reissued titles are becoming available as downloads at their original recording or remastering resolutions. In a cultural climate where music too often functions as sonic wallpaper, where streaming services shortchange jazz artists and disrupt the integrity of album sequencing, the purchasing of hi-res discs and downloads (as well as new CDs) demonstrates support for the artists, keeps independent labels in business, and offers the listener a vivid recreation of musical performances.

HI-RES JAZZ

New Music in an Anxious Time: Teis Semey, Peggy Lee and Philipp Gropper

Read "New Music in an Anxious Time: Teis Semey, Peggy Lee and Philipp Gropper" reviewed by Mark Werlin

Historians of jazz identify the African-American civil rights struggle circa 1945-1965 as the locus for the most active involvement of jazz music in expressions of social and political protest. One of the earliest recorded instances of explicit political protest in jazz, “Strange Fruit," was refused by Decca, singer Billie Holiday's record label, for fear of reprisals from Southern radio stations and record stores. The independent Commodore label released the record in 1939; a searing indictment of lynching and a landmark ...

HI-RES JAZZ

TRPTK: Breaking Genre Walls

Read "TRPTK: Breaking Genre Walls" reviewed by Mark Werlin

TRPTK, an independent new music label based in the Netherlands, produces hi-res recordings with astonishingly realistic sound quality. TRPTK's catalogue of jazz and new music erases the boundaries of musical genres, and pursues a commonality of purpose that overrides differences in cultural and national backgrounds. Æon Trio: Elegy Elegy, performed by the jazz ensemble Æon Trio of Japanese pianist-composer Atzko Kohashi, Dutch bassist Frans van der Hoeven and Russian-born cellist Maya Fridman, draws on the diverse streams of ...

HI-RES JAZZ

Eric Dolphy: Gone In The Air

Read "Eric Dolphy: Gone In The Air" reviewed by Mark Werlin

Newly-remastered SACD reissues of Eric Dolphy's albums for the Prestige label mark the 90th anniversary of his birth. The recording sessions that Eric Dolphy led in the last four years of his life advanced the evolution of jazz. It was a tragedy that Eric Dolphy gave himself so completely and unselfishly to art that he neglected to attend to the mundane demands of bodily health. The impact of his death on June 29, 1964 at age 36 ...

HI-RES JAZZ

Dálava, Gordon Grdina and Mikkel Ploug: Songs Old, and Sounds New

Read "Dálava, Gordon Grdina and Mikkel Ploug: Songs Old, and Sounds New" reviewed by Mark Werlin

Strangeness--a word that connotes foreignness, otherness, and a sense of unease when confronted by the unfamiliar. The sound of recognizable musical forms may attract us, in the same way we are drawn to familiar faces or voices. The sound of a foreign language may set us on the alert; syllables we do not recognize, meanings we cannot understand. And what if the words cannot always cross the boundary from one language to another, and the meanings never be ...

HI-RES JAZZ

Charles Mingus and Miles Davis: Changing Moods

Read "Charles Mingus and Miles Davis: Changing Moods" reviewed by Mark Werlin

The recordings of Charles Mingus in the mid-1950s document a musical voice so distinctive that they are immediately recognizable today. But Mingus' obsessive commitment to the primacy of the composition was not always shared by his peers, nor understood by his critics. A public feud between Mingus, who was struggling unsuccessfully to win critical recognition and financial rewards, and Miles Davis, then poised for prominence and commercial success, contains clues to the musical conundrum that both sought to ...

HI-RES JAZZ

The Westerlies: New Music For Brass In Hi Res

Read "The Westerlies: New Music For Brass In Hi Res" reviewed by Mark Werlin

The Westerlies, a self-titled album performed by an “accidental brass quartet" of two trumpet players and two trombonists, is a stunning accomplishment: a reference-quality recording of trans-genre new instrumental music that managed to beat the odds and reach a wide audience. The album's unexpected success points to the importance of curation in an overcrowded online music sphere. One track from the album, an arrangement of the English folk ballad “Saro," was promoted by Tom Huizenga, a music producer ...

HI-RES JAZZ

John Coltrane: Coltrane And Crescent—Shadows And Light

Read "John Coltrane: Coltrane And Crescent—Shadows And Light" reviewed by Mark Werlin

Visual art is a play of shadow and light, and contrast makes the forms visible. In the best jazz music, there is a kind of inner light that emanates from the musicians, the light of creative impulse, the light of spontaneous artistic expression. Some jazz musicians--too many--cast their own shadows of addiction and self-destructiveness. But often--too often--new directions and developments in jazz are shadowed not by the musicians themselves, but by their detractors. A series of Impulse albums ...


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