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Unreleased Jazz Treasures Are Arriving: Here’s a Guide – The New York Times

Unreleased Jazz Treasures Are Arriving: Here’s a Guide - The New York Times
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https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/29/arts/music/historical-jazz-albums-savory-davis-coltrane.html?em_pos=medium
 
Unreleased Jazz Treasures Are Arriving: Here’s a Guide
Aug. 29, 2018
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A previously “lost” 1963 recording featuring McCoy Tyner and John Coltrane was released this year.Joe Alper
There’s never a shortage of old jazz albums being repackaged, or previously unknown recordings finding the light of day. But this year, a particularly impressive trickle of unreleased music from jazz’s halcyon midcentury has emerged for the first time. We already took a look at notable reissues. Here’s a guide to the historic recordings that have arrived so far.
‘The Savory Collection 1935-1940’
(6 CDs) (Mosaic)
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Here is a kind of swing-era Holy Grail — perhaps the most exciting single collection jazz fans have ever seen. William Savory would eventually become a groundbreaking audio engineer, but first he was a teenage music fanatic, using new technology to bootleg radio broadcasts of his favorite jazz musicians straight to acetate and metal discs. It was not until after his death in 2004 that the extent of this collectionbecame known, when the National Jazz Museum in Harlem bought the nearly 1,000 discs he had amassed in the 1930s and into 1940, featuring Coleman Hawkins, Count Basie, Mildred Bailey and Benny Goodman. The museum has been releasing material from it periodically on Apple Music in digital-only albums. But now we have a complete boxed set, with more than 100 songs across six CDs.
Sitting with “The Savory Collection,” you start to feel the hum and seduction of listening to jazz radio in the days before you could choose to put on a record or queue up a streaming service. And what comes bursting from the speakers will grab you: a lengthy, live version of Hawkins’s classic “Body and Soul,” performed at the Fiesta Danceteria in Manhattan; the prattling, overpowering drumming of Chick Webb, electrifying the CBS studios as if they were a dance hall; and two full discs of Count Basie’s orchestra in its prime, including a showstopping appearance at the Carnival of Swing in 1938.
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Miles Davis and John Coltrane, ‘The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6’
(4 CDs) (Columbia/Legacy)
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This is the first time that Columbia has released any official recordings from Miles Davis’s 1960 European tour, though there have been recordings floating around for decades. This tour was an epochal moment in jazz, seeming to indicate two separate paths for the music’s future. Davis had established a tight-knit band, and was enjoying the warm reception to “Kind of Blue,” which would go on to become the best-selling album in jazz history. But Coltrane was shoving off in a different direction, ripping his technique apart and seeking a new kind of transcendence. On these tapes, as he splits tones and repeats gusty, arrhythmic phrases, you hear the audiences in Paris and Stockholm react with bemusement — and sometimes shouts, whistles and boos.
Grant Green, ‘Funk in France: From Paris to Antibes (1969-1970)’ and ‘Slick! — Live at Oil Can Harry’s’
(2 CDs and 3 LPs; 1 CD and 2 LPs) (Resonance)
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Grant Green was not the most innovative jazz guitarist of the 20th century, but he might be the most heavily sampled. His chunky, caustic sound was never far removed from the blues of his St. Louis upbringing, and when jazz-funk fusion became the order of the day in the early 1970s, he was ready for it. Two new releases from Resonance Records throw light on his transition into the style. The best moments come on Disc 2 of “Funk in France,” with Green leading an organ quartet at the Antibes Jazz Festival. The combo hadn’t sunk into the kind of swaggering rapport that would define his best live recordings from this period (“Alive!” from 1970, and “Live at the Lighthouse,” from 1972, both released on Blue Note), but these new albums are charged with fresh energy and a sense of rooted exploration.
John Coltrane, ‘Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album’
(1 CD and 1 LP; or a deluxe edition, 2 CDs and 2 LPs) (Impulse!)
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Coltrane’s career was soaring by March 1963 — so much so that studio sessions with his quartet were often dominated by new concepts and collaborations. But on this session, recorded in the midst of a run at Birdland in New York, the band was working in its own lingua franca, basically playing a version of its live set. Even more than on the album “Coltrane” from a year before, we can feel how closely connected these musicians (McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones) had become, and how combustive those live moments must have been. This album features seven different tunes, including three Coltrane never again recorded in the studio, and the deluxe edition includes seven alternate takes.
Dexter Gordon, ‘Tokyo 1975’
Woody Shaw, ‘Tokyo 1981’

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(1 CD each) (Elemental Music)
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These live recordings, released simultaneously this summer, provide glimpses of two modern masters leading longstanding groups. By 1975 the bebop tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon had spent a dozen years in Europe and was leading the house quartet at Copenhagen’s Jazzhus Montmartre. His band there included the American pianist Kenny Drew and the Danish bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen; on “Tokyo 1975” he pulls them into a surging, swinging flow that sometimes calls to mind the funneled energy of his classic 1963 recording, “Our Man in Paris.”
Woody Shaw, a close friend of Gordon’s, was an uncommonly crisp and shapely trumpet player, as well as an underrated composer. He’s caught in this 1981 concert playing standards and originals — including a 10-plus-minute take on “Rosewood,” his magnum opus — with a fabulous quintet that features the trombonist Steve Turre and the pianist Mulgrew Miller, both of whom were soon to become jazz A-listers.
Correction: August 31, 2018
An earlier version of this article misstated the type of material onto which William Savory pressed bootleg recordings of radio broadcasts. He used acetate and metal discs, not shellac.
A version of this article appears in print on Aug. 30, 2018, on Page C5 of the New York edition with the headline: Masterly Survivals From the Halcyon Years of Jazz. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe
 
 
 



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