Records of the Month – Jazz and Soul – December 2020
Jazz and Soul Subscription Records of the Month!
Our musical elves have sifted through thousands of archives of music and listened to hours upon hours of albums to bring you 3 incredible records this month! Not only that, but a dedicated team of historians tried their absolute best to give you a little background on each one! All part of a day’s work here at Vinyl Wings!
Remember, if you like what you see you can always sign up for next month’s box by subscribing here! We strive to the the best jazz subscription service with some soul mixed into it!
Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers
Meet you at the Jazz Corner of the World – Vol. 1, 1960
It’s been said that the band that’s playing this set is the strongest ever put together under the legendary Art Blakey. We’ve definitely been saving this one all year and think it’s the perfect record for all jazz lovers!
Trumpet prodigy Lee Morgan, who at this point had been with Blakey for two years, is paired with the newcomer (replacing Hank Mobley) Wayne Shorter – a steaming duo by all standards. On piano – Bobby Timmons, who some may not know but actually wrote the legendary tune Moanin‘, paired with Jymie Merrit on bass.
The album was recorded in September 1960 at Birdland, a place which has consistently brought out the very best of those who have played there. Wayne, still the relative newcomer, shows he fits right in with his incredible solos and muscular sound. That’s of course complemented by Lee Morgan, whose tastefully flowing phrases and runs are testament to his ability at such a young age.
No doubt being under the leadership of a 41-year old jazz veteran like Blakey the best is always brought out of musicians. In fact, when asked about the band, Timmons was quoted saying “There is really no other group to go to from here.”. Indeed, there isn’t! Sit back, and enjoy this one!
Sam Cooke would have turned 90 in January 2021, but we thought we would already start the celebrations a month early!
Cooke started off as a teenage sensation as part of the gospel group The Soul Stirrers and has often been credited with bringing a gospel a younger audience due to his looks and charisma. Following a split from the group, he immediately gained recognition and commercial success with three rapidly-released albums for Keen, Encore being the second.
With the material leaning heavily on the Great American Songbook, Cooke brings us a beautifully swinging album which is very reminiscent of Sinatra, or a young Nat King Cole.
While Oh Look at me Now and Accentuate the Positive remain our highlight tunes, we find the entire album to be the perfect listen for this time of year when you’re warm at home!
The Ramsey Lewis Trio
More Sounds of Christmas, 1964
Make no mistake about it – this isn’t your usual cheesy Christmas album we all have a love-hate relationship with.
This is the finest jazz artistry at work brought to us by the virtuoso and genius that is Ramsey Lewis, wrapped in Christmas paper with a red bow on it, under a Christmas tree!
It’s jazz first, Christmas second!
And that’s why we love it – it brings us those familiar tunes we all love to hear this time of the year, but turns them into something very fresh, new and exciting!
The fun and playful rendition of Jingle Bells remains a favourite of ours. Basically, it’s one of the most fun Christmas albums we’ve heard and hope that it’s one that you will also enjoy with your loved ones!