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 New Release Round-up, Jazz New Release Round-Up - 30th August 2019

Hello jazz friends. Did you have a good summer? I hope so. I have just returned from the Shambala Festival in Northamptonshire, where I saw some incredible live performances from the likes of The Comet is Coming, Nubya Garcia, Blow 3.0 and some fantastic world music groups, many of whom I am currently trying to source for Presto! It's often tricky to recreate the full excitement of a band performing live through an over-driven PA to a crowd of well-lubricated revellers, but revisiting The Comet is Coming album Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery (which was my first ever review for Presto) does a good job of taking me back that festival vibe!

This week's new releases are dominated by some excellent vinyl issues of Impulse! classics such as Charles Mingus's The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady and McCoy Tyner's brilliant early album Inception, and there is also an interesting fusion album from Michael J Bolton celebrating the moon landings 50 years ago.

There’s nothing else in jazz quite like this collection, recorded – astonishingly – in just one session on 20th January 1963. With liner-notes written by Mingus’s psychotherapist, the album uses ornate ensemble orchestration to produce a sound somewhere between jazz and folk.

Available Format: Vinyl Record

Mingus’s second Impulse! album, released in 1963, was another large-ensemble masterpiece featuring two of the bassist/bandleader’s greatest compositions – “Celia” and “Better Get Hit In Yo’ Soul” - plus a famous version of Duke Ellington’s “Mood Indigo.”

Available Format: Vinyl Record

The tenor sax master attacks five standards and in the process produces some of his most intense performances on record. Taped at the Van Gelder Studio in one marathon session on July 8th 1965, this electrifying Impulse! Records debut also featured Ray Bryant on piano and Mickey Roker on drums.

Available Format: Vinyl Record

The tenor firebrand and avant-garde hero’s second Impulse! album, released in 1965, was an ensemble masterpiece featuring an original tune dedicated to Malcolm X (“Malcom, Malcolm Semper Malcolm”) plus unique takes on Antonio Carlos Jobim (“The Girl From Ipanema”) and Duke Ellington (“Prelude To A Kiss”).

Available Format: Vinyl Record

McCoy Tyner Trio

The piano pioneer’s 1962 debut solo album was a groundbreaking trio date featuring Art Davis on bass and his John Coltrane Quartet bandmate Elvin Jones on drums. Concentrating mainly on original compositions, Inception also featured inspired takes on “Speak Low” and “There Is No Greater Love.”

Available Format: Vinyl Record

And now for something much smoother, David Benoit And Friends features the king of the innocuous with special guests Dave Koz, Marc Antoine, Rick Braun, Vincent Ingala, Lindsey Webster and others. All smooth Jazz stars in their own right, highlights include the gorgeous Dave Koz feature "Vernaaza","Make It Real" (a sensuous ballad featuring Lindsey Webster), "Moon and Sand" featuring Marc Antoine, David's interpretation of the Portugal hit "Feel It Still" and much more.

Available Format: CD

Michael J Bolton

Relax, I've not gone all achey breakey - this is Michael J Bolton the jazz composer and bassist, not the anodyne soul singer. Although these are pukka jazz artists this feels more prog than jazz, taking inspiration from the moon landings 50 years ago. Devotees of Neil Ardley's 1976 fusion masterpiece Kaleidoscope of Rainbows will probably respond to this record.

Available Format: CD