Thursday, November 14, 2013



Vintage Miles Davis – heard the way most folks first enjoyed these albums at the time – in glorious mono fidelity! The set brings together rare mono mixes of these gems from Miles – with a bold sound that really gets to the heart of the trumpeter's classic approach – and which has mostly been out of commercial circulation for decades! Every record in the package is a stunner – the kind of work that never gets old, and which is maybe even truer to its original spirit in this format than in stereo. The package features a cool slipcover, a nice booklet, and LP-sleeve versions of the CDs – just like having tiny little records – with nine full albums that include Round About Midnight, Jazz Track, Miles Ahead, Milestones, Porgy & Bess, Kind Of Blue, Sketches Of Spain, Someday My Prince Will Come, and Miles & Monk At Newport. ~ Dusty Groove


A wonderful small group set from bassist Harrison Bankhead – and a record that really showcases the overlooked spiritual side of his music! Bankhead's bass has been a key part of Chicago avant jazz for decades, but with this set he really finds a great space all his own – on long tracks that often have strong modal undercurrents, thanks to his own work in the lead – which then really stretch out with strong reed solos from Ed Wilkerson on tenor and clarinet, and Mars Williams on alto, tenor, and soprano sax. In the best AACM tradition, both players also dabble in some other instrumentation as well – Wilkerson on didgeridoo and harmonica and Williams on kalimba – and the quartet also features Avreeayl Ra on drums and additional thumb piano too. A few moments get a bit more outside, but still hew to the spiritual quality of the music – and titles include "Ancestors Of The Pharoahs", "Right On It", "After Hours", "Velvet Blue", and "Rhythm Of The Earth". (In a beautiful hand-pressed cover, too!) ~ Dusty Groove


Counting The Ways is the debut album from Teotima, a 14 piece spiritual jazz ensemble from London. Guitarist-composerGreg Sanders started Teotima; taking powerful, elegant but deceptively complex grooves of West Africa, Cuba and Brazil and adding the sensibility of classic American soul and funk he brought together a loose collective of musicians in 2011 to workshop ideas. As an intrinsically live project, all the individual band members were key to the project and their improvisation is a central part of the album. Recorded as-live at London's Fishmarket Studios under the watchful eye of engineer Ben 'Nostalgia 77' Lamdin, the record achieves a synchronicity that only this kind of old-fashioned approach can produce. One of the most striking things about the record is the huge scope that it encompasses - the arrangements of Gil Evans and David Axelrod, grooves reminiscent of Arthur Verocai and the Fania All Stars and the textures of more modern groups such as The Floating Points Ensemble and Snarky Puppy. All of these truly organic facets combine to create a striking 43-minute long debut album from Greg Sanders and his Teotima Ensemble.

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