ANNOUNCING THE LATEST INSTALLMENT IN THE ACCLAIMED ORIGINAL JAZZ CLASSICS SERIES

Craft Recordings announces the latest reissues in the Original Jazz Classics series: The Red Garland Trio’s Groovy, Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane’s Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane, The John Wright Trio’s South Side Soul, and The New Miles Davis Quintet’s Miles. Available for pre-order nowthese reissues, which roll out from April to July 2024, feature lacquers cut from the original tapes (AAA) by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio (Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane and Groovy titles cut by Matthew Lutthans at Cohearent Audio), 180-gram vinyl pressed at RTI and tip-on jackets, replicating the original artwork. All titles will also be released digitally in 192/24 HD audio.

 

Original Jazz Classics was created in 1982 (under Fantasy Records) and relaunched last year, with jazz fans and critics alike praising the series’ devotion to vividly preserving and restoring seminal jazz albums, paying mind to everything from cover art to liner notes to the audio recordings themselves. Since its inception, the series has reissued 850+ hard-to-find jazz albums, among them acclaimed titles from Prestige, Galaxy, Milestone, Riverside, Debut, Contemporary, Jazzland, and Pablo. Craft Recordings will continue to grow its Original Jazz Classics series this year, with audiophile vinyl and digital reissues of even more out-of-print titles.

 

Speaking to the OJC reissue of Bill Evans’ Sunday at the Village Vanguard, PopMatters raved, “The bright, inventive performances are captured perfectly in these new vinyl releases, and listening to them is an exciting, riveting, and perhaps bittersweet experience, as they caught a unique, influential group of musicians at their peak,” and Clash declared the reissue to be “a must-have.” On Mal Waldron’s Mal/2, Analog Planet notes that the pressing is even better than those hard-to-find originals from the 1950s. . . . trust me, you’ll want this.” And for Bill Evans’ Waltz for Debby, Tracking Angle shared in a perfect score review, “The best-sounding of all the pressings . . . the whole line will be worth watching and buying quickly before they sell out,” while All About Jazz echoed, “Without hyperbole, it can be stated that this is the best sounding version yet of a beloved album.”

 

Read more on the latest OJC releases below, and stay tuned for announcements regarding more titles coming in 2024.

 

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The Red Garland Trio – Groovy (Available April 26, 2024)

Pianist Red Garland, the former boxer out of Texas who many would argue is still underrated (see his work, too, with Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins), is joined here by drummer Art Taylor and bassist Paul Chamber. This is the trio’s third album together, released in 1957. Bouncy and dexterous Groovy, sits firmly in the bebop and hard-bop genre.

 

“Over this uniquely compelling rhythm, Garland has constructed a blend of locked chord and single-note solo line style that retains all the essential warmth of melody and remains inventive,” DownBeat wrote. The album is also satisfyingly three-dimensional. Tracks such as the twinkling “Will You Still Be Mine?” telegraph pure joy, while you’d be hard-pressed to not get a little teary listening to “Gone Again,” a wistful, timeless ballad.

 

 

Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane – Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane (Available May 31, 2024)

Though they recorded this album in 1958 (with a release date five years later), guitarist Kenny Burrell and saxophonist John Coltrane went back as far as 1951, when they both played in Dizzy Gillespie’s band. By 1958 this recorded collaboration with Burrell — who’d go on to be anointed a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts — would end up being Coltrane’s last before he went on a spiritual music journey that would culminate in A Love Supreme.

 

Tracks such as the upbeat “Lyresto” bear witness to the duo, notes AllMusic, “gracefully trading and incorporating spontaneous ideas. While not as pronounced, the disparity in the way the performance is approached is a study in unifying and complementary contrasts.” Still, the standout on this album is hands down “Why Was I Born?” a plaintive take on the much-covered Jerome Kern classic, which finds Burrell and Coltrane entwined in a gorgeous duet.

 

 

The John Wright Trio – South Side Soul (Available June 28, 2024)

John Wright, a Chicago native — if you couldn’t already tell by his LP’s title — was a self-taught pianist as a child who later enlisted in the army, played across Europe, and proceeded to become a regular on the jazz scene. By 1960, he released this album, the celebrated South Side Soul which the Chicago Reader gushed is, “an album that swaggers hard.” A figure who’s lesser known despite his outsized talent, Wright was given the Walter Dyett Lifetime Achievement Award by the Jazz Institute of Chicago, in 2009.

 

Bolstered by Wendell Roberts on bass and Walter McCants on drums, the debut features a slinky-cool title track, which cemented “South Side Soul” as Wright’s nickname. Meanwhile, a pair of harmonic escapes, “Sin Corner” and “Amen Corner,” nod ever so slyly to Wrights’ roots playing in a Baptist church.

 

 

The New Miles Davis Quintet – Miles (Available July 26, 2024)

The 1956 debut from Miles Davis’ Quintet came together after a record executive encouraged him to form a band. The talent Davis assembled ended up becoming a dream team: tenor-saxophonist John Coltrane, pianist Red Garland, famed bassist Paul Chambers, and Davis’ favorite drummer, Philly Joe Jones. The results are remarkable.

 

Though the album features a mix of pop and jazz standards, “Davis’ emphasis is on lyricism and expression rather than virtuosic display,” wrote Billboard. “S’Posin’,” for instance, showcases each member of the collective levitating off syncopated beats. In contrast, “There Is No Greater Love” is in no rush, tempering any fevered rhythms in favor of soulful contemplation.

 

 

Tracklists:

The Red Garland Trio – Groovy (Available April 26, 2024)

Side A

1. C-Jam Blues

2. Gone Again

3. Will You Still Be Mine?

 

Side B

1. Willow Weep for Me

2. What Can I Say, Dear

3. Hey Now

 

 

Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane – Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane (Available May 31, 2024)

Side A

1. Freight Trane

2. I Never Knew

3. Lyresto

 

Side B

1. Why Was I Born

2. Big Paul

 

 

The John Wright Trio – South Side Soul (Available June 28, 2024) 

Side A

1. South Side Soul

2. 47th and Calumet

3. La Salle St After Hours

4. 63rd and Cottage Grove

 

Side B

1. 35th St Blues

2. Sin Corner

3. Amen Corner

 

 

The New Miles Davis Quintet – Miles  (Available July 26, 2024)

Side A

1. Just Squeeze Me

2. There Is No Greater Love

3. How Am I to Know?

 

Side B

1. S’Posin

2. The Theme

3. Stablemates

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