Wednesday, 27 September 2017 01:53

Concord Music Purchases The Iconic Savoy Label



On September 21,  Concord Music, the massive music concern who own the catalogs of independent labels like Stax, Specialty, Fantasy, Rounder, Vanguard, Sugar Hill, Telarc and many other similar record companies, added another hallowed label to their vast holdings. Savoy Label Group, a hallowed name in postwar American jazz.  Savoy, like the others, has vast holdings of vintage material (over 3000 recordings) and has continued to release contemporary jazz and, on their 429 label, new recordings by classic rockers like Los Lobos, Robbie Robertson, Boz Scaggs and LL Cool J.

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The PG has both an obituary and news obit on Pitt Jazz Studies Director and piano virtuoso Geri Allen's death. Let these videos stand as select examples of the Detroit-born Allen's monumental and enduring musical genius.

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Friday, 30 December 2016 08:20

Best Music Reissues Of 2016


Chet My Brother Sings cover

As promised, my list of best reissues (or as some call them, "archival recordings" of 2016:

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As one of Pittsburgh's jazz royalty, Erroll Garner (1921-1977) was a force of nature. With absolutely no formal musical training, he created a body of work bursting with energy, improvisational inventiveness, joie de vivre and an indomitable spirit. A true stylist, Garner was among a handful of jazz innovators whose work appealed to both the jazz cognoscenti and to a far wider audience less familiar with jazz in any form.

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erroll ready take one cover

On September 30, Legacy Recordings, along with the estate of Pittsburgh-born jazz piano titan Erroll Garner (1921-1977), will release Ready Take One, a collection of 14 never-released performances from recording sessions in 1967, 1969 and 1971, taking place in New York and Chicago.

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Friday, 01 January 2016 06:50

Best Reissues Of 2015

We did my Top 10 New Releases of 2015 last week on the PG Music Podcast.   Now, my Best Reissues of 2015, with video to illustrate more about each.

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Another Pittsburgh Grammy nominee alongside Wiz and the PSO: pianist Geri Allen, Pitt's Director of Jazz Studies.  She was co-producer (with Steve Rosenthal) of the recently-released 3-CD set The Complete Concert By The Sea, the best known album by pianist and Pittsburgh jazz giant Erroll Garner (1921-1977).  Allen also contributed an essay to the accompanying booklet.  This newly-released collection was nominated for a Grammy for Best Historical Album.

Recorded in 1955 on portable recording gear at a California show, the concert was edited from its full length at the time so a vinyl LP--the only medium for albums at that time--could handle it. That album included eight tunes plus an opening announcement. Exciting, lively and inventive, it became Garner's best-known album and one of the most popular jazz albums of all time.

But the complete concert was never released until this collection, which comes with added interviews done with Garner and his musicians recorded after the 1955 show. Pitt is the repository for Garner's archives, as we revealed in this June Blog entry.

Below is my "Believe Your Ears" Podcast review of the collection.

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A just-released reissue of a landmark jazz recording in its unedited (and edited) form.

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The news that Pittsburgh jazz icon Erroll Garner's professional archives have been donated to the University of Pittsburgh's Library System, thanks to the estate of his Pittsburgh-born manager, the late Martha Glaser, is welcome in the extreme.  So is the upcoming September 18th release of a revised and expanded 60th Anniversary Edition of his landmark 1955 Columbia album Concert By The Sea, with notes by, among others, Pitt Jazz Program Director Geri Allen, who co-produced the collection with Steve Rosenthal.  The three-disc edition will include the complete concert, a new version of the edited (originally released) show and interviews done right after the Carmel show with Garner and his sidemen.

It more than justifies this revised re-post of the "Pittsburgh Jazz Legends 8: Erroll Garner" entry that first ran on this blog back in 2012.

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Dial Records

Mosaic Records' forthcoming nine-CD box set The Complete Dial Modern Jazz Sessions not only contains some of the seminal jazz of the post-World War II era, three Pittsburgh jazz icons are represented within. Known for their comprehensive and exhaustively researched CD box sets (no downloads) with state of the art audio restoration, Mosaic has applied their talents to one of the pivotal labels recording bebop, the jazz style that began developing out of swing music just before and after World War II through the bold musical adventures of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and Charlie Christian.

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