AUTHENTIC SOUND, DISTILLED TO ITS PUREST FORM

AUTHENTIC SOUND, DISTILLED TO ITS PUREST FORM

ABOUT SMALL BATCH

Craft Recordings is proud to introduce Small Batch, our carefully curated, one-step lacquer process vinyl series devoted to creating the highest quality vinyl reissues of legendary recordings from our catalog.

The second in title in the series will be Yusef Lateef’s 1961 classic, Eastern Sounds. Originally released on Moodsville, an imprint of the legendary jazz label, Prestige Records. Available for pre-order Friday March 26th at 2pm PST and set for release April 23rd.

The Eastern Sounds pressing has been produced with the same meticulous care that won our first edition, Lush Life, rave reviews like “flawless . . . as close to the original tape as you’re likely to hear” (Analog Planet), “an unmitigated joy” (Goldmine) and “beautifully done” (Stereophile).

Each album selected for the Small Batch series will undergo all-analog mastering, and then be pressed utilizing Neotech’s VR900 compound onto 180-gram vinyl in a one-step lacquer process at RTI—as opposed to the standard three-step process—allowing for the highest level of musical detail, clarity, and dynamics while reducing the amount of surface noise on the record.

The Small Batch series is available exclusively on craftrecordings.com.

ONE-STEP LACQUER PROCESS AND ALL-ANALOG MASTERING OFFERS THE HIGHEST QUALITY LISTENING EXPERIENCE

ICONIC PACKAGING

Housed in a foil-stamped, linen-wrapped slipcase. The vinyl disc—extractable through a unique frictionless ribbon pull tab—comes in a reproduction of the original album jacket and protected by an archival-quality, anti-static, non-scratching inner sleeve.

NEW LINER NOTES

New liner notes from some of music’s best educators, historians, and journalists will accompany each title.

LIMITED EDITION

Each reissue will be limited edition and numbered. The limited nature of these pressings guarantees that each record is a true representation of the original lacquer and is as close as the listener can get to the original recording.

About Eastern Sounds

Fusing hard bop with influences of Middle Eastern and Asian music, Yusef Lateef’s Eastern Sounds was exploratory yet highly accessible to mainstream jazz audiences. Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, the 1961 album—recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’s legendary studios in Englewood Cliffs, NJ—features Lateef on tenor saxophone, oboe, flute, and a Chinese xun (an ancient globular flute). Accompanying Lateef is pianist Barry Harris, drummer Lex Humphries, and bassist Ernie Farrow, who also performs the rubab—an Afghani lute-like instrument.

The engaging, nine-track album primarily consists of Lateef’s original compositions, in addition to the Jimmy McHugh standard “Don’t Blame Me” and two soundtrack selections: “Love Theme from Spartacus” and “Love Theme from The Robe.” Spanning a variety of moods, Eastern Sounds “effectively balances the familiar with the foreign,” explains Ashley Kahn in his liner notes. “When the album truly looks east—in sound and title—magic happens.”

Highlights include the opening and closing tracks, “The Plum Blossom” and “The Three Faces of Balal,” respectively, as well as “Blues for the Orient.” The latter composition, Kahn notes, “is a standout track for multiple reasons, including Lateef’s oboe, with its evocative power, and the tune’s rhythmic construction.” He continues, “Check out the segue from a deep Southern blues feel to a Middle Eastern lilt…then Harris…moves the music even further east—a taste of Chinese voicings—before bringing it back home to the late-night blues: thousands of miles suggested in a matter of minutes.”

Eastern Sounds, which marked Lateef’s 16th album, was not his first exploration of global music. In fact, by the time that Lateef began recording as a leader in 1957, he was already setting himself apart from his contemporaries—broadening his sound by learning new instruments and studying the music of other cultures. Lateef, who converted to Islam in the late ’40s, first experimented with elements of Eastern music in Prayer to the East (Savoy, 1957), and continued to expand his palate throughout his long and prolific career. In his obituary, the New York Times declared that the groundbreaking artist “played world music before world music had a name.”

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER BELOW AND BE FIRST IN LINE FOR FUTURE PRESSINGS IN THE SMALL BATCH SERIES