A semi-lost Wayne Shorter album here, recorded in 1965 though unreleased till 1980. With Herbie Hancock, Cecil McBee and Joe Chambers by his side, Shorter’s saxophone is free to express itself in fine style. A soulful and subtle session from a real master, well worth your time. Blue Note vinyl reissue.
Vinyl LP £35.99 7718777
Reissue LP on Blue Note.
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9/10 zwhale 25th February 2019
Recorded in 1965 but not released until 1980. What’s wrong with this – why was it delayed by 15 years? The answer is probably lost in the mists of time. Apparently, this was released with little fanfare back in 1980. So Blue Note turns 80 this year (2019) and they wanted a series of “audiophile” releases to celebrate this anniversary. They’d seen the high quality Jazz releases by “Music Matters” and wanted something similar directly from the Blue Note back catalogue. So they enlisted the help of Joe Harley to produce a “Tone Poet” series that is identical to the quality of the “Music Matters” releases apart from the vinyl used is not the “SRX Vinyl”. This is the first in the “Tone Poet” series.
First off the packaging. It is gorgeous – glossy cover, double gatefold with large photos of the band members inside. And the original 1980 notes on the reverse. This is not some scanned in slightly dull cover you see on some jazz re-releases.
The music – there are many reviews out there from jazz experts so I have little to add. It is superb.
The sound – absolutely amazing. On “Barracudas (General Assembly)” there is a section with just the bass from Cecil McBee and a little bit of drumming from Joe Chambers. There is no background noise, no hiss, nothing. Just the two instruments. The aim was not to re-create the “first pressing” sound which seems to be the nirvana Blue Note enthusiasts are after. Instead, they wanted to re-create the sound on the master analogue tapes as best they could.
Finally, the price. Costing 80% more than a standard vinyl record it would be remiss not to mention this. This is one disc with no extra takes etc. The great sound quality and packaging makes it is worth paying the extra. If over your lifetime you spin this 36 times then it is well worth a pound a listen!
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