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  • A Love Supreme A Love Supreme Quick View

    $24.99
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    A Love Supreme

    Ranked 47/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.


    Right from the very first hearing, absolutely every single jazzcritic shared the same opinion - whether trained musicians or not, true or would-be jazz expert: "A Love Supreme" is John Coltrane's most important recording. And the rave reviews which appeared in the magazines Downbeat, Jazz Hot, Jazz Podium and Swingjournal reflected this: critics all over the world, in America, Europe and Japan recognized that Coltrane's deep religious belief had influenced both his approach to life and his music-making. It not only enabled him to express himself with great intensity but also lent him the necessary inner peace to conceive a work of almost 40 minutes in length and to lead his quartet along the same path as himself.


    The first section, entitled "Acknowledgement", has a forceful bass line which runs throughout the whole work. The powerful sound increases in intensity, whereby the bass motif undergoes constant modulation, with John Coltrane's meditative singing creating immense tension.


    In "Resolution" Coltrane's powerful, quasi hymnlike expression comes to the fore, with McCoy Tyner achieving equal intensity in his solo. "Pursuance", with its density, quick-as-lightning runs and block chords, gives us a taste of John Coltrane's later 'free' phase. "Psalm" is filled with the famous, almost static melodies rather like a fervent prayer which are so typical for John Coltrane. "A Love Supreme" has been a faithful companion and teacher of generations of saxophonists and its message goes way beyond Music and is still valid today.


    Musicians:

    John Coltrane (tenor saxophone)

    McCoy Tyner (piano)

    Jimmy Garrison (bass)

    Elvin Jones (drums)


    Recording: December 1964 in New York City by Rudy Van Gelder

    Production: Bob Thiele


    Part 1 - Acknowledgement
    Part 2 - Resolution

    Part 3 - Pursuance
    Part 4 - Psalm
    John Coltrane
    $24.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Turiya Alice Coltrane World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Turiya Alice Coltrane Quick View

    $28.99
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    World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Turiya Alice Coltrane

    Alice Coltrane remains a singular figure on the fringe of American music but her appeal is growing. While Coltrane's music is gaining wider acceptance there is an entire era of her recorded output that remains obscure, almost as if by design.


    Her four self-published, devotional albums of the eighties and nineties were recorded during a period in which she had withdrawn from secular life. They were manufactured and distributed in limited quantities amongst her spiritual community. Operating outside of the constraints of the commercial recording industry Coltrane was free of external pressures whether monetary or deadline. She recorded this music totally on her own terms. The resulting compositions synthesized her spiritual and musical outlook into a highly original work that is unique unto herself.


    Available commercially for the first time. Remastered, bucket loads of notes, available in all formats but 8-track. A loving tribute to an amazing woman. 2xLP comes with two booklets of liner notes.

    LP 1
    1. Om Rama
    2. Om Shanti
    3. Rama Rama
    4. Rama Guru
    5. Hari Narayan


    LP 2
    1. Journey To Satchidananda
    2. Er Ra
    3. Keshava Murahara
    4. Krishna Japaye (vinyl only)
    5. Ram Katha (alternate version, solo demo, unreleased, vinyl only)

    Alice Coltrane
    $28.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Love Devotion Surrender Love Devotion Surrender Quick View

    $29.99
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    Love Devotion Surrender

    These two virtuoso guitarists were coming from different musical worlds when they came together for this unique 1972 project. What they shared, besides the instrument they'd mastered, was profound spirituality; both had taken inspiration from the music of John Coltrane. The core of Love Devotion Surrender is made up of the three magnificent extended guitar jams including Coltrane's A Love Supreme which borders on spiritual ecstasy. To hear Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin trading licks and then coming together is a guitar fan's dream come true and while the guitar playing is absolutely stunning in its virtuosity here, the music never loses its focus or its soul.
    1. A Love Supreme
    2. Naima
    3. The Life Divine
    4. Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord
    5. Meditation
    Santana & John McLaughlin
    $29.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Buy Now
  • A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters Quick View

    $45.99
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    A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters


    Ranked 47/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time


    Easily one of the most important records ever made, John Coltrane's A Love Supreme was his pinnacle studio outing that at once compiled all of his innovations from his past, spoke of his current deep spirituality, and also gave a glimpse into the next two and a half years.

    LP 1
    1. A Love Supreme, Pt. I - Acknowledgement
    2. A Love Supreme, Pt. II - Resolution
    3. A Love Supreme, Pt. III - Pursuance
    4. A Love Supreme, Pt. IV - Psalm
    5. A Love Supreme, Pt. III - Pursuance
    6. A Love Supreme, Pt. IV - Psalm


    LP 2
    1. A Love Supreme, Pt. I - Acknowledgement
    2. A Love Supreme, Pt. I - Acknowledgement
    3. A Love Supreme, Pt. II - Resolution
    4. A Love Supreme, Pt. II - Resolution
    5. A Love Supreme, Pt. IV - Psalm
    6. A Love Supreme, Pt. I - Acknowledgement
    7. A Love Supreme, Pt. I - Acknowledgement
    8. A Love Supreme, Pt. I - Acknowledgement
    9. A Love Supreme, Pt. I - Acknowledgement
    10. A Love Supreme, Pt. I - Acknowledgement
    11. A Love Supreme, Pt. I - Acknowledgement


    LP 3
    1. Introduction
    2. A Love Supreme Pt. I - Acknowledgement
    3. A Love Supreme Pt. II - Resolution
    4. A Love Supreme Pt. III - Pursuance
    5. A Love Supreme Pt. IV - Psalm

    John Coltrane
    $45.99
    Vinyl LP - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • The Need Of Love The Need Of Love Quick View

    $21.99
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    The Need Of Love

    Fusing a daring range of styles including funk, soul, and John Coltrane-inspired free jazz, Earth, Wind & Fire's sophomore effort is fearlessly experimental. On the nearly 10-minute opener, "Energy," a groove-oriented funk arrangement opens up into a freeform, kaleidoscopic jam. The mind-bending riffs and positive-minded lyrics of tracks like Beauty and Everything Is Everything have the uplift of early Sly Stone. With its spaced-out vibe and infectious hooks, this may be our favorite EWF record for late nights and hazy mornings.
    1. Energy
    2. Beauty
    3. I Can Feel It In My Bones
    4. I Think About Lovin' You
    5. Everything Is Everything
    Earth, Wind & Fire
    $21.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Love Devotion Surrender (Speakers Corner) Love Devotion Surrender (Speakers Corner) Quick View

    $34.99
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    Love Devotion Surrender (Speakers Corner)

    For some, Love Devotion Surrender is an album where, exceptionally, John McLaughlin plays the piano and organist Jan Hammer plays the drums. For others, it is the most spiritual album ever by Carlos Santana. And though both disciples were shown the way and inspired by the same guru (Sri Chinmoy) at one and the same time, this album is filled with the spirit of John Coltrane. In order to communicate their differing understanding and interpretation of Trane's music, the two musicians formed a 'project band' made up of members of Santana's ensemble and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. In their performance of Love Supreme, Santana's somewhat dragging melody-maker role amalgamates with McLaughlin's high-speed staccato to a viscous drive. This approach functions just as well in slow motion: Coltrane's miniature, slow composition Naima is performed in a flowing and inspired manner by the duo on their acoustic guitars.



    The arrangements carry Santana's hallmark: the occasionally somewhat intellectual but certainly not long-pondered-over sound is enhanced by the sound of agitated congo beats and the chanted vocals are heard as if from afar. By the time fans of Santana's major albums have got to the expansive gospel song Let Us Go Into The House, they will have rediscovered their Carlos and his timeless solos once again. It is apparent that love and devotion are by no means just memorials of a time gone by but a surrender to oneself in its most perfect form.



    Musicians:



    • Mahavishnu John McLaughlin (guitar, piano)

    • Carlos Santana (guitar)

    • Larry Young (organ)

    • Doug Rauch (bass)

    • Armando Peraza (conga)

    • Billy Cobham, Don Alias, Jan Hammer, Mike Shrieve (drums)



    Recording: 1973 by Glen Kolotkin

    Production: Mahavishnu John McLaughlin & Carlos Santana



    About Speakers Corner



    At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Speakers Corner all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.



    During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existant tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.



    A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.



    We should like to emphasise that Speakers Corner Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle. We have one digital recording in our catalogue (Alan Parsons / Eye In The Sky"), but even in this particular case we used the analogue tapes for cutting.



    We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.



    To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects - excluding the exception above - and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.

    1. A Love Supreme
    2. Naima
    3. The Life Divine
    4. Let Us Go Into the House of the Lord
    5. Meditation
    Santana
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Lush Life Lush Life Quick View

    $21.99
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    Lush Life

    John Coltrane's essential 1958 Prestige release Lush Life finds the jazz great fronting a pianoless trio on three of the album's five tracks as well as helming both a quartet and quintet for a track a piece. The standard ballad Like Someone In Love and the Coltrane mid-tempo original Trane's Slo Blues wonderfully supplement the album's 14-minute title track, an unrivaled masterpiece of both style and grace.
    1. Like Someone in Love
    2. I Love You
    3. Trane's Slo Blues
    4. Lush Life
    5. I Hear a Rhapsody
    John Coltrane
    $21.99
    Vinyl LP Reissue - Sealed Buy Now
  • Lush Life (Mono) Lush Life (Mono) Quick View

    $34.99
    Buy Now
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    Lush Life (Mono)

    John Coltrane's essential 1958 Prestige release Lush Life finds the jazz great fronting a pianoless trio on three of the album's five tracks as well as helming both a quartet and quintet for a track a piece. The standard ballad Like Someone In Love and the Coltrane mid-tempo original Trane's Slo Blues wonderfully supplement the album's 14-minute title track, an unrivaled masterpiece of both style and grace.
    1. Like Someone In Love
    2. I Love You
    3. Trane's Slo Blues
    4. Lush Life
    5. I Hear a Rhapsody
    John Coltrane
    $34.99
    200 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl Mono LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • In The Winner's Circle (Pure Pleasure) In The Winner's Circle (Pure Pleasure) Quick View

    $34.99
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    In The Winner's Circle (Pure Pleasure)

    Rare stuff from John Coltrane! The album features 'Trane' playing tenor on only 4 of the album's 8 tracks - making it kind of surprising that they used his name in the title - but the album is a lesser-known batch of large group recordings that offer an interesting early chapter in his career! The main force behind the album is arranger Harry Tubbs - possibly not a name that's as sexy as John Coltrane, hence the billing - but a worthy leader for the date, given the quality of the music.



    Many of the other players here are small combo heroes who can also shine brightly in bigger groups - such as Donald Byrd and Art Farmer on trumpets, Kenny Burrell on guitar, Al Cohn on baritone sax, Eddie Costa on piano and vibes, and Oscar Pettiford on bass - plus Rolf Kuhn, making an early American appearance on clarinet. Coltrane gets in some nice, but short moments on the date - but the bigger charm is the full ensemble work - on titles that include She Didn't Say Yes, Turtle Walk, At Home With The Blues, Seabreeze, and Love & The Weather.



    Musicians:



    • John Coltrane (tenor saxophone)

    • Donald Byrd, Art Farmer (trumpet)

    • Frank Rehak (trombone)

    • Gene Quill (alto saxophone)

    • Al Cohn (bassoon)

    • Rolf Kuhn (clarinet)

    • Eddie Costa (piano, vib)

    • Freddie Green, Kenny Burrell (guitar)

    • Oscar Pettiford (bass)

    • Philly Joe Jones, Ed Thigpen (drums



    Recording: September & October 1957 in New York City



    About Pure Pleasure



    At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.



    During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.



    A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.



    We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.



    We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.



    To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.

    1. Lazy Afternoon
    2. Not So Sleepy
    3. Sea Breeze
    4. Love And The Weather
    5. She Didn't Say Yes
    6. If I'm Lucky
    7. At Home With The Blues
    8. Turtle Walk
    John Coltrane
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Into Morning (On Sale) Into Morning (On Sale) On Sale Quick View

    $21.99 $17.37 Save $4.62 (21%)

    Buy Now
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    Into Morning (On Sale)

    Released in 1976, Into Morning is the debut recording from trumpeter, Charles "Cha Cha" Shaw. Incorporating elements of spiritual free jazz and post-bop, this is a beautiful session from an under-heralded talent who recorded with the likes of John Coltrane, Curtis Mayfield, Rashied Ali, and more. Lovingly reissued on vinyl in an exact replica of the original packaging.
    1. Eternal
    2. K.Z.
    3. Jugetty
    4. Super Silk
    Charles Cha Cha Shaw
    $21.99 $17.37 Save $4.62 (21%)
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Sun Ship Sun Ship Quick View

    $24.99
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    Sun Ship

    Sun Ship is a jazz album recorded on August 26, 1965, by tenor saxophonist John Coltrane. The album extended the free jazz ideas of Transition. The relaxed, serene feel of earlier ballads like "Welcome" was transformed into a new style of ballad on "Dearly Beloved" and "Attaining". This style involved very slow tempos, drum rolls and fills, and a louder, more intense feel than traditional jazz ballads. Like "Psalm" (from A Love Supreme), there is no real tune, just a scale or series of tones used to build an improvised theme.


    Coltrane's solos on the other tracks are also more extreme than on his earlier albums, and are reminiscent of the style of Albert Ayler and Pharaoh Sanders in their extensive use of altissimo and multiphonics. The title "Sun Ship" may have been inspired by Sun Ra's conception of free jazz as having an affinity with science fiction conceptions of human existence.


    Sun Ship was one of the only albums John Coltrane's quartet recorded without sound engineer Rudy Van Gelder. It was also one of the last albums (with First Meditations, recorded a week later) which John Coltrane recorded before he began experimenting with larger groups. Tenor saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders was playing regularly with the band by September, 1965, and both McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones left the band in January, 1966.


    Musicians:

    John Coltrane - tenor saxophone, soprano

    saxophone, leader

    McCoy Tyner - piano

    Jimmy Garrison - bass

    Elvin Jones - drums

    1. Sun Ship
    2. Dearly Beloved
    3. Amen
    4. Attaining
    5. Ascent
    John Coltrane
    $24.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP -Sealed Buy Now
  • Bahia Bahia Quick View

    $21.99
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    Bahia

    When Bahia was recorded in late 1958, John Coltrane was running out of patience with the standard song form as a vehicle for improvisation. Although he would go on to make one unforgettable album of standards in the early 1960s, by mid-1959 his incredible energies were increasingly directed into modal and scalar channels that would lead him to some of the most expansive and, ultimately, mysterious creative expression in all of jazz. Bahia presents Coltrane still working within the song form. He all but explodes it in the title tune and, particularly, Goldsboro Express. But in the album's lovely ballads, he caresses and embellishes the melodies and chords as if preparing to bid them a reluctant farewell. With Wilbur Harden, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, Arthur Taylor and Jimmy Cobb.
    1. Bahia
    2. Goldsboro Express
    3. My Ideal
    4. I'm A Dreamer, Aren't We All
    5. Something I Dreamed Last Night
    John Coltrane
    $21.99
    Vinyl LP Reissue - Sealed Buy Now
  • In A New Setting (Speakers Corner) In A New Setting (Speakers Corner) Quick View

    $34.99
    Buy Now
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    In A New Setting (Speakers Corner)

    The vibraphonist presents himself in a new setting in this recording from 1964. Clearly Milt Jackson wanted to free himself occasionally from the straightjacket of the Modern Jazz Quartet. Sonny's Blues is proof of this: it is percussive and swinging, and without the eagle eyes of John Lewis in the background. This time the young McCoy Tyner, who had worked with John Coltrane (A Love Supreme was recorded in the same month), was at the piano. Jimmy Heath, responsible for the drive not only as a composer but also as instrumentalist, and Bob Cranshaw on the bass, contribute important impetus to the short blues, ballad-like and bop themes. None of the twelve numbers became a real jazz hit, but each has kept its own individual charm to this day.
    If you set value on an excellent product being excellently packaged then you are well advised to purchase this LP. Unlike the CD version in its jewel case, this album is now being re-released with its original gatefold cover from the truly beautiful Limelight series, for which the designer alone should have received a Grammy.



    Musicians:



    • Jimmy Heath (tenor saxophone)

    • Milt Jackson (vibraphone (vibes))

    • McCoy Tyner (piano)

    • Bob Cranshaw (bass)

    • Connie Kay (drums)



    Recording: December 1964

    Production: Luchi De Jesus



    About Speakers Corner



    At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Speakers Corner all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.



    During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existant tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.



    A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.



    We should like to emphasise that Speakers Corner Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle. We have one digital recording in our catalogue (Alan Parsons / Eye In The Sky"), but even in this particular case we used the analogue tapes for cutting.



    We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.



    To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects - excluding the exception above - and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.

    1. Sonny's Blues
    2. I'm Gonna Laugh You Out Of My Life
    3. Spanish Fly
    4. No Moon At All
    5. Slow Death
    6. Clay's Blues
    7. Lazy Melody
    8. Project-S
    9. Ev-ry Time We Say Goodbye
    10. That's In
    11. Ineffable
    Milt Jackson
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Dear John C. Dear John C. Quick View

    $49.99
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    Dear John C.

    Elvin Jones was nearing the end of his long stay with John Coltrane when he led these sessions in 1965, and while the style is small-group post-bop, the music is very different from the thick textures of the Coltrane quartet. The core band is a trio with the Charlie Parker-influenced alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano and the brilliant bassist Richard Davis. Mariano soars overhead on a series of lyrical standards, including Everything Happens to Me and This Love of Mine. Roland Hanna joins the group for the first three selections, and Elvin's brother, Hank for the last four. Of the Hanna tracks, Charles Mingus's Love Bird stands out, while Hank Jones' crisp and inventive lines shine on the classic bop of Anthropology and Ellington's Fantazm.
    1. Dear John C.
    2. Ballade
    3. Love Bird
    4. Everything Happens to Me
    5. Smoke Rings
    6. This Love of Mine
    7. Anthropology
    8. Feeling Good
    9. Fantazm
    10. That Five-Four Bang
    Elvin Jones
    $49.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl 45 RPM LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Natural Essence Natural Essence Quick View

    $11.99
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    Natural Essence

    Only 23 at the time of the recording, the tenor saxophonist composed six originals and is joined by other promising young lions who went onto great careers (pianist Kenny Barron and trumpeter Woody Shaw), along with alto saxophonist James Spaulding, bassist Reggie Workman, and drummer Joe Chambers. Washington shows the influence of John Coltrane during his rapid-fire runs, while his playing during his more straight-ahead works proves to be more memorable. The opener, Natural Essence, is an interesting alchemy of blues, funk, and hard bop. Yearning for Love is an emotional piece with spirited interaction between the three horns in places. The remaining tracks don't make as strong an impression, so it is possible that the inclusion of some standards or pieces by either Shaw or Barron might have added to the appeal of the date.
    Side One:
    1. Natural Essence
    2. Yearning For Love
    3. Positive Path


    Side Two:
    1. Soul Dance
    2. Ethos
    3. Song Of Peace

    Tyrone Washington
    $11.99
    Vinyl LP Reissue - Sealed Buy Now
  • Opium Opium Quick View

    $15.99
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    Opium

    It was in 1996 that Jay-Jay Johanson, a young man from a cold climate, fascinated by the Bristol sound they called trip-hop and Portishead in particular, first tapped delicately on our eardrums. In only a few songs he revealed a family tree that spread its roots far and wide: on one branch Chet Baker and Lee Hazelwood, on the other John Coltrane with Johnny Hartman, and in between a whole army of jazz or symphonic recordings sampled from everywhere imaginable. Almost 20 years later he has returned with an incredible new album called Opium. It contains the very essence of Johanson's music: an ease with inventing melodies, a voice that gently caresses, and the jacked up, heady rhythms that lift and carry the songs. From the peaceful harmonica opening of Drowsy / Too Young To Say Good Night to the smoke-wreathed love song I Don't Know Much About Loving, via titles with a sporadic and light groove (NDE, Alone Too Long), Opium is a courageous offering. Johanson opens his heart with fearlessness and modesty, gracefully lowering his guard and evoking the questions that torment men of his age: love, solitude, fatherhood, immaturity. The songwriting is unerving, the words have a suppressed poetry. This new Jay-Jay Johanson is the work of a guy who has survived the avalanches, who is no longer looking for answers and is content to sketch out the perspectives in as many songs. Some titles are serious (Harakiri), but others immediately take up the reins casting a more gentle, peaceful light, like Scarecrow, a collaboration with Robin Guthrie that would not have sounded out of place on a Cocteau Twins album, or of the strange positivity of Be Yourself or I Love Him So. The strength of Opium is that it asks questions that don't necessarily have an answer; it offers a collection of songs freed from any certitude but which convince through their modesty, through their precision. In short, Jay-Jay Johanson at his best.
    1. Drowsy / Too Young To Say Good Night
    2. Moonshine
    3. Be Yourself
    4. I Love Him So
    5. NDE
    6. I Don't Know Much About Loving
    7. Scarecrow
    8. I Can Count On You
    9. Alone Too Long
    10. Celebrate The Wonders
    Jay-Jay Johanson
    $15.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Manhattan Symphonie (Pure Pleasure) Manhattan Symphonie (Pure Pleasure) Quick View

    $44.99
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    Manhattan Symphonie (Pure Pleasure)

    During the autumn of his illustrious career, Dexter Gordon (1923-1990) was on a winning streak. In 1976, the sophisticated giant of the tenor saxophone had returned to America after 14 successful years in Europe (with occasional visits to his native country); when he played a homecoming engagement at New York's fabled Village Vanguard, the seats were filled each night with adoring fans and enraptured critics. Two years later, Gordon recorded Manhattan Symphonie, his third album for Columbia and the first with his exceptional working rhythm section of pianist George Cables, bassist Rufus Reid, and drummer Eddie Gladden.



    From the opening notes of the classic ballad As Time Goes By, we are fully aware that we're in the presence of a master. The tone is luminous; the placement of the notes, impeccable; the feeling profoundly affecting. More than almost any other improviser of his caliber, Gordon understands exactly why »the fundamental things apply«. The rest of the set combines bright new material, such as Gordon's jauntily bopping blues LTD (which stands for Long Tall Dexter) and Cables' samba I Told You So with updates of two post-bop staples: Donald Byrd's Tanya (which Gordon had recorded for Blue Note in 1964) and John Coltrane's propulsive Moment's Notice. But the masterpiece herein - indeed one of Gordon's all-time surpassing performances - is Body and Soul, in which Gordon, an early crucial influence on Coltrane's approach to the tenor, returns the favour by taking a page out of Coltrane's (and McCoy Tyner's) harmonic book.



    This expanded issue of Manhattan Symphonie includes two bonus tracks, also from 1978: Thelonius Monk's lustrous "Ruby My Dear", and a previously unreleased on vinyl rendition of "Secret Love", a Dexter favourite. In addition to the acclaimed writer Pete Hamill's wonderful original liner notes, there is a lovely reminiscence from pianist George Cables.



    Musicians:



    • Dexter Gordon (tenor saxophone)

    • George Cables (piano)

    • Rufus Reid (bass)

    • Eddie Gladden (drums)



    Format: 2LPs 33rpm / gatefold sleeve



    About Pure Pleasure



    At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.



    During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.



    A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.



    We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.



    We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.



    To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.



    As Time Goes By/ Moments Notice
    Tanya/ Body and Soul
    I Told You So / Ltd
    Ruby, My Dear/ Secret Love*
    Dexter Gordon
    $44.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Paris 1969 Paris 1969 Quick View

    $19.99
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    Paris 1969

    Blue Note Records has announced Thelonious Monk Paris 1969, a fascinating and important late-career document of the legendary jazz pianist and composer in performance with his Quartet at the Salle Pleyel concert hall in Paris, France on December 15, 1969. Beautifully captured on B&W film, the concert also featured a surprise guest appearance from renowned drummer Philly Joe Jones. Also included is a rare on-camera interview with Monk that was conducted by the French bassist Jacques Hess after the concert.


    "The 1969 Paris concert captures the power and the undiminished beauty of Monk's music, reminding us that even as his body aged his musical imagination knew no limits," writes Monk scholar Robin Kelley in his liner notes essay. However, Kelley also illuminates what a peculiar and challenging moment 1969 was for the 52-year-old pianist. Monk hadn't achieved true success until the late-50s with his legendary run at the Five Spot CafÉ in New York City with John Coltrane (a band that was brilliantly captured on the lost recording Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall from 1957 which was discovered and released on Blue Note in 2005). By the early-60s Monk's success had peaked when he signed with Columbia Records and was eventually featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in 1964.


    However, by 1969, in addition to health issues, Monk's success was beginning to wane with the emergence of rock and the resulting jazz fusion movement. His recording contract with Columbia had just come to end after an ill-advised attempt at marketing him to a younger rock audience. That disappointment was followed by the departure of drummer Ben Riley and bassist Larry Gales from his band which left Monk with two chairs to fill on short notice before his European tour.


    Monk eventually found two young musicians - bassist Nate Hygelund and drummer Paris Wright - to fill out the Quartet with his longtime tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse. Luckily the inexperienced rhythm section had some time to gel before hitting the stage in Paris with a lengthy engagement in London followed by stops in Germany and Italy. By the time they reached the Pleyel the band was in fine form, which made for a triumphant return for Monk to the very stage he had made his Parisian debut on in 1954 in front of a hostile audience who felt that Monk was too avant-garde. 15 years later the situation could not have been more different with an enthusiastic audience and the concert being broadcast on television.


    In addition to rollicking Quartet versions of Monk classics such as "I Mean You," "Straight No Chaser," and "Blue Monk," the set also includes three stunning solo piano performances on "Don't Blame Me," "I Love You Sweetheart Of All My Dreams," and "Crepuscule With Nellie." However, an undeniable highlight of the concert was when the veteran drummer Philly Joe Jones who was an expat living in Paris at the time comes from backstage to borrow the sticks from the 17-year-old Wright, providing a palpable spark on Monk's "Nutty."

    1. I Mean You
    2. Ruby My Dear
    3. Straight No Chaser
    4. Bright Mississippi
    5. Light Blue
    6. Epistrophy
    7. Don't Blame Me
    8. I Love You Sweetheart of All My Dreams
    9. Crepuscule With Nellie
    10. Bright Mississippi
    11. Nutty
    12. Blue Monk
    Thelonious Monk
    $19.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Welcome Welcome Quick View

    $29.99
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    Welcome


    40th Anniversary Limited Edition


    Mastered Impeccably By Joe Reagoso At Friday Music Studios And Pressed At R.T.I.


    In 1973 Carlos Santana and The Santana Band were now one of the world's most loved rock and fusion
    bands of all time. After several studio albums and the two collaboration albums with Carlos Santana & Buddy
    Miles Live and Love Devotion Surrender with John McLaughlin the world was now
    buzzing around the energy that these superstars would lay down on vinyl with the soon to be rock/jazz/funk
    powerhouse Welcome.


    Featuring a cross section of Santana classics like Going Home, Light Of Life and When I Look Into Your Eyes,
    plus the exotic rhythms and jams on workouts like Santana and John McLaughlin's Flame-Sky, and the stellar
    John Coltrane masterpiece interpretation Welcome, Carlos Santana's guitar was truly a voice heard around the
    musical world.


    The original vinyl version of this masterpiece has been out of circulation for decades - that is until now
    Friday Music continues our exclusive Santana 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl Series with the groundbreaking first
    time North American audiophile vinyl release of the 1973 smash Welcome. Mastered impeccably by Joe Reagoso
    at Friday Music Studios and pressed at R.T.I., this super limited first time North American 180 Gram masterwork
    is truly one of Santana's finest ever, and we are very excited to offer you this authorized audiophile vinyl LP today.
    Along with the legendary Carlos Santana on guitar and vocal, he is joined with original Santana band mates
    Michael Shrieve on his dynamic drums, Doug Rauch on his prolific bass, Jose Areas on hard hitting percussion,
    plus the brilliant acid jazz superstar Leon Thomas on vocals, the celebrated Latin percussionist Armando Peraza,
    the legendary John McLaughlin on guitar, Joe Farrell on flute, and the stellar keyboard work of long time Santana
    associate Tom Coster.


    As an added 40th Anniversary Welcome bonus, we are including a super fine gatefold cover, restoring the
    original album cover elements to their full glory which will further enhance your listening experience.
    Let's all celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the classic mega rocker Welcome by Santana. Authentic,


    Authorized and Absolutely Santana as only you would expect from your friends at Friday Music!

    1. Going Home
    2. Love, Devotion & Surrender
    3. Samba De Sausalito
    4. When I Look Into Your Eyes
    5. Yours Is The Light
    6. Mother Africa
    7. Light Of Life
    8. Flame-Sky
    9. Welcome
    Santana
    $29.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Buy Now
  • E.S.P. (On Sale) E.S.P. (On Sale) On Sale Quick View

    $49.99 $44.99 Save $5.00 (10%)

    Buy Now
    x

    E.S.P. (On Sale)

    Numbered, Limited Edition


    Pressed At RTI


    A landmark recording and masterful symphony of performance, composition, and execution, Miles Davis' E.S.P. established the template jazz would follow for the following decade. The 1965 record splits the gap between accessible hard-bop and the cutting-edge approach Davis increasingly pursued into the 1970s. Adventurous, sophisticated, and yet altogether cohesive, E.S.P. stands out not only due to its elastic compositions but via its chemistry, interplay, and feeling attained by the instrumentalists. The first album Davis' classic second quintet made together, it's also very arguably the group's best. Never before has the effort been experienced in such transformational sound.


    Pressed at RTI, Mobile Fidelity's 180g 45RPM 2LP set of E.S.P. treats each phrase and every note as sacred communication. This meticulously restored audiophile version renders the music's dynamics, pitch, colors, and textures with lifelike realism and proper scale. Reference-caliber separation, wall-to-wall soundstages, and distinct images magnify the intensity and beauty of Davis and Co.'s creations. Whether it's the distinctive snap of Tony Williams' drum sticks against the snare head, air moving through Davis' trumpet, acoustic thrum of Ron Carter's bass, or upper register of Herbie Hancock's piano, the sound is better than you'd even hear in the most intimate jazz clubs. Prepare to be swayed on every level.


    For many, E.S.P. looms among the decade's best albums if only because of the significance of Davis' lineup. While Hancock, Williams, and Carter are holdovers that began playing with one another on 1963's Seven Steps to Heaven, Wayne Shorter functions as the secret weapon and key addition responsible for this ensemble hitting a new peak. Indeed, the saxophonist helped pen two of the seven compositions here - notably, E.S.P. is entirely comprised originals and clocked in as one of the longest-running jazz LPs issued at the time - and, more importantly, grants Davis the confidence and leeway necessary for the eruption of enigma, steadiness, and tension.


    As he did with John Coltrane year earlier, Davis hangs back and picks his moments to solo, with Shorter stepping up to supply the churn. Their bandmates respond in kind, itching to take off into new stratospheres all the while keeping their improvisations grounded and connected to the piece at hand. Guided by Davis' visions and inspired by current boundary-pushing works by the likes of Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, and Coltrane, the magnificent results spark with variation, harmony, emotion, energy, and brilliant movement.


    Interlocking lines drive Little One, alternating rhythms pulse through the funky Eighty-One, melodies soar on the balladic Iris, the aptly titled Mood broods over minor-key structures, and Agitation - goosed by a two-minute percussive introduction by Williams - delivers on its promise. No record - and no group of musicians - have ever balanced coherent themes and exploratory playing in better fashion than Davis' quintet on E.S.P. It's the avant-garde record even jazz traditionalists love, and essential on every level.


    This title is not eligible for further discount.

    1. E.S.P.
    2. Eighty-One
    3. Little One
    4. R.J.
    5. Agitation
    6. Iris
    7. Mood
    Miles Davis
    $49.99 $44.99 Save $5.00 (10%)
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45RPM - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Inception Inception Quick View

    $49.99
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    Inception

    Those familiar with the dense, percussive style that pianist McCoy Tyner has cultivated since the 1970s onwards may be surprised by what they hear on Inception. Like Reaching Fourth and Nights of Ballads and Blues, this album gives listeners the chance to hear what a very young Tyner sounded like outside the confines of the classic John Coltrane quartet of the early '60s; it reveals a lyrical approach to jazz piano that seems a far cry from Tyner's mature style. The choice of material is fairly evenly split between modal pieces like Inception and more harmonically involved tunes like Speak Low, and the pianist's treatment of both demonstrates the extent to which his early work was rooted in bebop. Tyner had yet to develop the massive orchestral sound and highly distinctive vocabulary of modal licks that would mark his later style, and throughout this album he spins dizzyingly long and singing lines with an exquisitely light touch. The irresistible rush of forward momentum that he maintains on tracks like Effendi and Blues for Gwen is breathtaking, and there is an exuberant, almost athletic quality to much of his solo work. Bassist Art Davis and drummer Elvin Jones provide superb accompaniment throughout, and they lay a solid rhythmic foundation for Tyner's sparkling melodic flights. The pianist's penchant for drama, which asserts itself more strongly in his later work, is on brief display in the original ballad Sunset; his skills as an arranger, though evident on several tracks, are perhaps best illustrated by the intricate contrapuntal treatment of There Is No Greater Love.


    This title is not eligible for discount.

    1. Inception
    2. There Is No Greater Love
    3. Blues for Gwen
    4. Sunset
    5. Effendi
    6. Speak Low
    McCoy Tyner
    $49.99
    45 RPM 180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Christmas And The Beads Of Sweat (Pure Pleasure) Christmas And The Beads Of Sweat (Pure Pleasure) Quick View

    $34.99
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    Christmas And The Beads Of Sweat (Pure Pleasure)

    Laura Nyro's third Columbia effort is easily the equal of her previous two. The overwhelming strength of her songwriting and distinctive arrangements fuel Christmas And The Beads Of Sweat. Her unmistakable style of delivery maintains the continual examination of herself as a performer. The results are uniformly interesting and provocative as she continues to draw upon her love of jazz, folk, and R&B.

    Conceptually, this album is as potent as her previous effort, New York Tendaberry, but in a much different way. Rather than hanging together thematically, Christmas And The Beads Of Sweat features two inclusive and distinctive sides of music -- with different musicians and producers for each.

    The first five tracks feature Nyro backed by the Swampers from Muscle Shoals, AL, and include the talents of Roger Hawkins (drums), Eddie Hinton (guitar), Dave Hood (bass), Barry Becket (vibraphone), and Jack Jennings (percussion), with Arif Mardin producing. While this pairing might seem initially incongruous, the quintet had been concurrently working with the likes of Dusty Springfield and Cher and had gained a rightful reputation as a consummate backup band.

    The final four pieces are steeped in noir more atypical of her previous efforts. The all-star cast of New York City session heavyweights are led by Felix Cavaliere (producer) and features fellow Rascals member Dino Danelli (drums), Ralph McDonald (percussion), Chuck Rainey (bass), Cornell Dupree (guitar), Duane Allman (guitar), and Alice Coltrane (stringed harp), among others.

    As with all of Nyro's recordings, at the heart of this effort are her ageless compositions and arrangements. A motif connecting such disparate tunes as the upbeat When I Was A Freeport And You Were The Main Drag to the hauntingly beautiful Christmas In My Soul and Beads Of Sweat is the aching hollowness that came with the disillusionment that Vietnam, Kent State, and racial relations brought upon America in 1970. As she had done with Save The Country some four years earlier, Nyro's cathartic expressionism is captured at its most fervent on this album.

    -Lindsay Planer/AMG

    Musicians:

    • Laura Nyro (guitar, piano, keyboard, vocal)
    • Joe Farrell (woodwinds)
    • Felix Cavaliere (organ, keyboards, percussion)
    • Duane Allman, Cornell Dupree (guitar)
    • Alice Coltrane (harp)
    • Barry Beckett (vocal, vibraphone)
    • Chuck Rainey, David Hood (bass)
    • Dino Danelli, Roger Hawkins (drums)

    About Pure Pleasure

    At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.

    During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.

    A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.

    We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.

    We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.

    To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.

    1. Brown Earth
    2. When I Was A Freeport And You Were The Main Drag
    3. Blackpatch
    4. Been On A Train
    5. Up On The Roof
    6. Upstairs By A Chinese Lamp
    7. Map To The Treasure
    8. Beads Of Sweat
    9. Christmas In My Soul
    Laura Nyro
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Sorceress (Black Vinyl) Sorceress (Black Vinyl) Quick View

    $29.99
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    Sorceress (Black Vinyl)

    Pressed On Black Vinyl


    There are few bands that can or will match Sweden's Opeth. Since forming in the tiny Stockholm suburb of Bandhagen in 1990, the Swedes have eclipsed convention, defiantly crushed the odds, and, most importantly, crafted 12 stunningly beautiful, become one of the best bands on the planet; on album or on stage. Ask any Opeth fan. Enquire with any band that's shared the proverbial pine with the Swedes. Or, get a label representative to talk Opeth. They'll all tell you the same thing: Opeth are peerless. And they're only getting better.


    Opeth's new album, Sorceress, their first for Nuclear Blast via the band's imprint label Moderbolaget Records, is proof chief architect Mikael Åkerfeldt has a near-endless well of greatness inside. From the album's opener "Persephone" to "The Wilde Flowers" and "Strange Brew" to the album's counterpart title tracks "Sorceress" and "Sorceress II", Opeth's twelfth full-length is an unparalleled adventure, where visions cleverly and secretly change, colours mute as if weathered by time, and sounds challenge profoundly. Sorceress is, by definition, moored in Åkerfeldt's impressive record collection-his one true vice-but, as always, there's more invention than appropriation at play.


    "This time around I didn't think about what I wanted to do," Åkerfeldt reveals. "I was forced to write. But once I started, it was easy. This record, like the last record, didn't take long to write. Like five or six months. The thoughts behind this record developed as I was writing. The only thing I was thinking about with this record was to write that songs didn't musically connect. I made sure if I had a song that was new sounding for this record, I'd make the next song completely different. I think the songs are very different from one another. It's very diverse."


    Certainly, every Opeth record has had diversity. In 1995, Orchid reset the rules of death metal. Six years later, Blackwater Park hit the high note for musicality in a genre generally devoid of it. Damnation, in 2003, was the work of a band determined to upend the norm. Five years after that, Watershed closed Opeth's chapter on death metal by visiting its darkest corners and holding its native brutality aloft. And in 2014, Pale Communion officially bridged the progressive music gap by twisting the intrepid sounds of '60s, '70s, and '80s into contemporary brilliance. So, really, what's so different about Sorceress?


    "My music taste got a little wider," grins Åkerfeldt. "I started listening to jazz. I bought a lot of Coltrane records. I never really thought Coltrane would be for me because I like 'dinner jazz.' I like comfortable, soft, nice, and lovely jazz. Like Miles Davis' '50s stuff. Porgy and Bess, for example. I guess Dave Brubeck fits in there, too. So, that's the only new influx of musical inspiration for me. Other than that, I've been buying the same type of records I always have. Prog, symphonic rock, singer/songwriter, metal, hard rock But there wasn't anything that set me off like The Zombies or Scott Walker. Nothing got me going this time."


    Actually, that's not entirely true. Åkerfeldt's always mining for progressive gold. Good, rare music is particularly good at getting his motor running. He found double-gold in one-off Italian outfit Il Paese dei Balocchi and Bobak, Jons, Malone's ultra-obscure Motherlight album. To wit, get Åkerfeldt talking about either and he's all too pleased to discuss the finer points of Il Paese dei Balocchi's string-based darkness or how he fan-boyed Malone via email to get the famed British orchestrator and one-time Iron Maiden producer to contribute to Sorceress.


    "I absolutely love Il Paese dei Balocchi," Åkerfeldt professes. "They did one album. It's insanely good. It has everything I love about progressive rock in it. This album is so orchestrated and epic. It's got lots of string sections. It's very moody, dark, and sad. It's a mystery they didn't do any more. As for Will Malone, he did the strings and stuff for the Sabbath records-Sabotage and Never Say Die! But now he does strings for pop artists like Joss Stone, The Verve, Depeche Mode. I looked him up, mostly because he was the house engineer for Morgan Studios in the '60s. He was also in a few bands. Like Orange Bicycle and played on the Motherlight album. He also had a solo record, which is also amazing and superbly rare. It's orchestral. The bulk of it is strings. It's kind of like Nick Drake."


    Åkerfeldt's quick to point out, however, his newfound progressive music loves didn't directly inspire him to write Sorceress. The majority of the album was penned in Opeth's rehearsal space, where, nestled comfortably in a corner, a computer, a keyboard, and a microphone sit ready for the next Opeth epic. It isn't plush, but it's exactly the type of environment the frontman needs to focus his creative self into song.


    "When I'm in a writing mode, I have tunnel vision," says Åkerfeldt. "I have a really good work ethic. I go down to the studio everyday early in the morning and I work. I absolutely love it. It's so much fun. It's much easier now, too. I write complete demos. I sequence the songs in the order I want them to be on the record. I do mixing. I do overdubs. Once I'm done, I give copies to the guys so they can listen to the album. They practice to it on their own. When it's time to go into the studio, everybody does their own thing. It obviously works."


    For Sorceress, Opeth returned to Rockfield Studios in Wales, where the Swedes had tracked Pale Communion in 2014 with Tom Dalgety. The experience was so positive and historical-the countryside studio was also home to pivotal Budgie, Queen, Rush, Judas Priest, and Mike Oldfield recordings-there really was no other option for Opeth and crew. Rockfield Studios or bust! The studio, with Dalgety yet again in tow, provided the necessary isolation, the right bucolic atmosphere, the best gear, and three square meals a day for Sorceress to come out the other end spitting fire. All in 12 bittersweet days, too.


    "There was a time when I came out of our recordings a wreck," Åkerfeldt bemoans. "But now I come out with a wish. I wish it wouldn't have gone so quickly. There's emptiness after I leave the studio. I love writing and recording in the studio. It's lovely at Rockfield. It's in the sticks. It's got horses and cows. There's lots of sheep in Wales. But the studio is just a studio. It's so beautiful there. So quiet. It's a residential studio as well, so we live there while we're recording. We have chefs for us, too. So, we can just be there, playing, recording, and hanging out."


    If life is like a Peter Max poster, the lyrics to Sorceress aren't. There's color, but they've been treated, corrupted, and befouled. That is to say, they're much darker. Some of bleak lyrical tones stem from Åkerfeldt's personal life-and are thusly contorted beyond recognition-while others touch grimly on topics like love and what happens to people on the other side of it. In fact, some of the lyrical ideas are similar to what was happening on Blackwater Park.


    "I made sure to write good lyrics," Åkerfeldt laughs. "This sounds very old-fashioned black metal to say, but the lyrics are misanthropic. It's not a concept record, so there's no theme running through the record. Most of the record deals with love. The negative aspects of love. The jealously, the bitterness, the paranoia, and the mind games of love. So, it's a love record. Love songs. Love can be like a disease or a spell."


    Luckily, for Åkerfeldt and crew-bassist Martín MÉndez, drummer Martin Axenrot, guitarist Fredrik Åkesson, and keyboardist Joakim Svalberg-the lineup doesn't have to deal with Sorceress' main theme. They've been together since Heritage was completed, and according to Åkerfeldt he's not been in a better band situation before. Not since Orchid. Not since Still Life. Not since Ghost Reveries.


    "It's the best band situation I've ever had. Fans will look at our eras and have their favorite lineup, but this is the best. Even the happiest days of the first and second lineups aren't comparable to what I have now. We never fight. It's like a good work team. We know each other professionally and personally. As much as we're a band, we're also friends. We hang out when we're not doing Opeth."


    A core team is a good thing, when Opeth's credibility is in full view of fans and critics. Åkerfeldt's very aware of what the masses have had to say about Opeth since Watershed. While some disliked the musical shift on Heritage, most have applauded it. They've come to expect something new from Opeth. True to form, Sorceress will give long-time fans and weary critics reason to re-think Opeth and what it takes to be musically fearless.


    "I hope they'll like the record," posits Åkerfeldt. "I can only talk from my perspective and taste here, but we offer diversity that's not really present in the scene today. Whatever genre. We've always been a special band. We've gotten a lot of shit for being different. We still do. Our time will come, I think. It comes down to perseverance. It comes down to not giving up or giving in to public opinion. Music is about doing your own thing or going your own way."

    1. Persephone
    2. Sorceress
    3. The Wilde Flowers
    4. Will O The Wisp
    5. Chrysalis
    6. Sorceress 2
    7. The Seventh Sojourn
    8. Strange Brew
    9. A Fleeting Glance
    10. Era
    11. Persephone (Slight Return)
    12. The Ward
    13. Spring MCMLXXIV
    Opeth
    $29.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Whims of Chambers (Mono) Whims of Chambers (Mono) Quick View

    $49.99
    Buy Now
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    Whims of Chambers (Mono)

    Blue Note Reissue


    As much as I'd love to relay all kinds of anecdotes about the challenges Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray encounter during the mastering sessions, I witness none. These boys know the sound of the facility and the Van Gelder masters like the backs of their handsBack home a month later, I unpack some test pressings Chad Kassem has sent meI hear the most realistic-sounding drums ever reproduced by my system. It's as though I'm sitting at the point of creation, experiencing the same high that brought such gifted musicians together as one. Steve Hoffman, Kevin Gray, Chad Kassem, and Don MacInnis have done Rudy Van Gelder and his Blue Note artists proud. Jason Victor Serinus, Stereophile, April 2008


    Paul Chambers' first album features an amazing lineup of John Coltrane, Donald Byrd, Kenny Burrell, Horace Silver and Philly Joe Jones. A classic Blue Note session of what might be considered cerebral jazz.


    Omicron
    Whims Of Chambers
    Nita
    We Six
    Dear Ann
    Tale Of The Fingers
    Just For The Love
    Paul Chambers
    $49.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45 RPM - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
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