Records of the Month – Jazz and Soul – June 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 for your jazz vinyl subscription! Not only that, but a dedicated team of historians tried their absolute best to give you a little background on each jazz & soul album! 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 vinyl subscription service with a little bit of soul mixed into it!

 

Chet Baker

Chet is Back!, 1962
Music on Vinyl

Chet Baker - Chet Is Back!

While Chet Baker certainly embodied “West Coast cool” through his breezy musical style and Hollywood good looks, his life was tragically turbulent. By now, our readers will be familiar with our love for Chet Baker and his music – he is also featured in our list of the Top 5 Greatest Trumpet Players of all time!

Drug problems and consequences were a continuous plague, yet somehow music seemed to provide a centre of stability in an otherwise destructive vortex.

Within weeks of release from a stint in Italian prison due to heroin possession, Chet produced one of the finest tributes to Europe that a man of his profession could. Backed by an exceptional group of European musicians, Baker put his vocals aside and focused on giving his fans a masterful trumpet performance.

The album dives right in with a steamy cover of Thelonious Monk’s Well You Needn’t which demonstrates Baker’s chops on the horn as well as the amazing energy and camaraderie of the band!

Guitarist Rene Thomas is the stand-out who consistently delivers masterful solos that complement Baker perfectly.

 

Earth, Wind and Fire

Spirit, 1976
Music on Vinyl

Earth, Wind and Fire - Spirit

Spirit was EWF’s seventh studio album, released right after the hugely successful That’s the Way of the World.

The album was dedicated to Charles Stepney, the band’s longtime collaborator and co-producer who passed away before it’s release.

The record kicks off with the Getaway – a brilliantly arranged funk heavyweight which demonstrates the band’s musical sophistication at the time and remains one of their best known tunes.

Saturday Nite would be the album’s second uptempo single, while the title track is a touching tribute featuring some of Philip Bailey’s most affecting vocals.

The band’s energy is so palpable throughout the album that you can’t help but smile while listening to the whole thing.

Our highlight is On Your Face – a tune which we think is EWF in a nutshell – a feel-good ballad with a powerful funk engine which will get you swinging in no time!

 

The Oscar Peterson Trio

Night Train, 1963
Verve Records

Night Train - The Oscar Peterson Trio

Throughout his career, Montreal-born Oscar Peterson was often seen as the heir and successor to Art Tatum as the greatest technical virtuoso of modern jazz piano. We’ve even written about Peterson in the past and he is featured in our list of the Greatest Jazz Pianists of All Time.

Jazz writer Ted Gioia likened this responsibility to being known as the fastest gunslinger in a town filled with trigger-happy rivals.

Peterson’s success wasn’t without its share of critics – Miles Davis on multiple occasions made his dislike towards Peterson known, criticising his mechanical style and stating that Peterson even had to be taught how to play the blues.

Be that as it may, unlike his counterparts, Peterson succeeded in bringing concert-hall classical mastery to mainstream jazz – Night Train being a fantastic example.

While there are moments of technical wizardry on C Jam Blues and Honey Dripper, they are perfectly controlled and not overwhelming to the ear.

The entire album has a very cool, easy-going swing flowing through it which makes it such a fantastic listen. No stranger to ballads, Peterson beautifully displays his soft touch and melodic mastery on Georgia on my Minda favourite tune of ours!

 

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