THE VISCOUNTS: HARLEM NOCTURNE
A lot of folks covered Earle Hagen and Dick Rogers’ classic composition “Harlem Nocturne”—there are over 500 recorded versions by some estimates—but the definitive take was laid down by a little-known R&B combo out of New Jersey named the Viscounts, who had a hit with the song for two different labels, for Madison in 1959 and for Amy in 1965. The latter release, which cracked the Top 40, spawned an entire album to go with it, and if you are looking for the perfect soundtrack to set a bleary, late-night mood straight out of a Raymond Chandler novel (or a film by David Lynch or Quentin Tarantino—you can bet both of those guys have listened to this record), look no further—guitar dripping with reverb and tremolo, minor-key Hammond organ fills and sleazy saxophone create a mutant musical love-child of the Ventures, Link Wray and Earl Bostic. The original Amy album makes its worldwide CD debut on this Real Gone Music release, and we’re putting it out exactly as it was originally issued, in a limited-edition mini LP sleeve that re-creates the original album art to the T.
TERELL STAFFORD - BROTHERLEE LOVE: CELEBRATING LEE MORGAN
A love letter from one of Philadelphia's favorite trumpet-playing sons to another, BrotherLee Love features Terell Stafford celebrating the soulful musical legacy of jazz legend Lee Morgan. The follow-up to Stafford's acclaimed homage to composer Billy Strayhorn, BrotherLee Love again features the trumpeter's regular band of brothers, his incredible quintet with saxophonist Tim Warfield, pianist Bruce Barth, bassist Peter Washington, and drummer Dana Hall. 'This project is about how I was embraced by this city and about a trumpet player who has always been a huge inspiration to me,' Stafford says. Includes: Hocus Pocus, Mr Kenyatta, Petty Larceny, Candy, Yes I Can, No You Can't, Favor, Stop Start, Carolyn, and Speedball. ~ Amazon
PETER SPARACINO - THE STRANGER'S PLAYLIST
Peter Sparacino, a NYC-based saxophonist, doubler, composer and bandleader, has established himself as a versatile and much in-demand artist, playing in jazz groups and big bands at renowned jazz venues like Smalls, Smoke and the Blue Note; performing and touring with horn-heavy beat outfits like Ikebe Shakedown and Breakdown Brass; performing and composing for the Sax Cartel, an innovative saxophone quintet; and backing up Florida swamp rockers Swamp Cabbage, blue-eyed soul revivalist Nick Waterhouse, and hip-hop legend Big Daddy Kane, among his involvement in many other ensembles. The music on The Straphanger’s Playlist draws on these many influences and was further shaped by the inspiration of the friends, peers and world-class musicians that make up the band: Jay Jennings-trumpet (Snarky Puppy, Polyphonic Spree), Isamu McGregor-keyboards (Virgil Donati, Tortured Soul), Panagiotis Andreou-bass (Now vs Now, New York Gypsy All Stars), Aki Ishiguro-guitar (San Fermin, Rhetoric), and Mauricio Zottarelli-drums (Eldar Djangirov, Richard Galliano). The Straphanger’s Playlist explores timbres and instrumentation beyond a traditional sextet format and sound by featuring a saxophone quintet with all parts performed by Peter via overdubbing (Ouroboros- Track #6), an expanded ensemble with strings (Nocturne- Track #4), and additional instruments augmenting the ensemble on other tracks. In between members’ extensive touring schedules and commitments, debut shows are currently being booked in NYC and beyond for this dynamic ensemble.