Records of the Month – Jazz and Soul – January 2021
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!
Concert of the Century – A Tribute to Charlie Parker, 2016
While we do love studio albums, there’s something unique and magical about live recordings. There’s no chances for a second take, the dynamic between band members is felt straight away and the audience’s participation just adds to the ambiance.
When this all-star bebop cast gathered in Montreal in 1980, the resulting performance was simply sensational. Strangely enough, the concert didn’t become a hit at the time and the tapes were locked away until very recently.
Though it was recorded about 30 years after the golden age of bebop, these guys were ready to impress upon the crowd just what it was that made that music, and specifically Charlie Parker, so timeless.
The evening was loaded with fiery free-running tunes like the opening Blue ‘n’ Boogie, and complemented so beautifully with mellow classics like Stardust.
While the cast is certainly star caliber, we feel that James Moody (tenor sax and flute) absolutely steals the show. His performance on Darben the Redd Foxx (his own tune, no less) is simply sensational and a masterful display of his technique and skill.
Chicago-born Donny Hathaway’s career started off with Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom Records in Chicago. A successful arranger and producer, he quickly moved up the ranks and became the house producer for the label.
In 1969 Hathaway signed with Atco Records and started releasing material under his own name. As is the story with many geniuses though, Donny’s life wasn’t a straightforward one – he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia which ultimately led to his tragic death in 1979.
The album you have here is one his most inspired performances and one of the greatest live albums we’ve ever heard! The record comprises of two separate sessions – one at The Troubadour in Hollywood and the other at The Bitter End in New York, and what’s clear from both is the love and admiration the crowd has for him.
The audience becomes part of the band, clapping to the funky beats and bass lines and singing along like they would in gospel church, with Donny leading the funky congregation.
We don’t know what the definition of Soul music really is, but we like to think that it’s when music comes from the soul of the performer and is delivered straight into the soul of the listener, and that’s exactly what we feel every time we spin this incredible album!
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
Ella & Louis Again, 1957
When the first Ella and Louis album was released in 1956 Verve knew that they had a winning formula and there was no way that a second album wouldn’t be back by popular demand!
There is certainly a magic between these two when they perform that is hard to put into words. Yet the two performers couldn’t be more different from one another – Louis’ deep growling voice and at times goofy demeanor somehow fits so well with Ella’s silky smooth style.
The timeless Let’s Call the Whole Thing off is the perfect example of what we mean! Every single tune on this album feels like a nice warm cup of soup for the ears – it’s the perfect Sunday morning listen for when it’s cold outside and all you want to do is curl up on the sofa and relax!