Records of the Month – Jazz and Soul – May 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!
Open Sesame, 1960
Much like in Galland’s novel One Thousand and One Nights, where the phrase “Open Sesame!” was used by thieves to magically open the cave where their treasure was hidden, this album has its own kind of magic with a far more valuable treasure inside.
In his Blue Note debut Freddie Hubbard is joined by the young and talented McCoy Tyner on piano and the fiery Tina Brooks on tenor sax. The album kicks off with the title song – a fierce, almost Latin-sounding tune which gives us the first taste of Freddie Hubbard’s soloing.
Even at the young age of 22, his tone sounds controlled, his phrasing well-timed and technically executed to perfection. But Beautiful is a stunning ballad in which the genius of McCoy Tyner really shines through, while the best description of Gypsy Blue is provided by Ira Gitler’s liner note – “a touching theme that almost takes to you a Jewish wedding”.
The album has a youthful energy to it and certainly the feel that it is an important coming-out of a trumpet talent in Freddie Hubbard that would write his own jazz history.
The Wicked Pickett, 1967
Music on Vinyl
Aretha Franklin called Wilson Pickett “one of the greatest soul singers of all time”, and this album certainly is proof to that effect.
He got the nickname “Wicked” as a result of his tough and abrasive personality – Wilson Pickett once infamously fired a gun into the backseat of his brother’s car “not to hurt him, but to scare him”. A serial drug abuser and no stranger to the police, Wilson Pickett’s personal life was unstable and often violent.
Fortunately for us listeners, Wilson Pickett brought that same level of ferocity and energy into his music. His in-your-face style, coupled with the powerful Memphis sound led to some of the greatest soul tunes we cherish today.
His ability to cover a song and make it his own just speaks to the gravity and attention this guy commanded – Mack Rice’s Mustang Sally being the best example, or even Bobby Hebb’s Sunny.
Overall, each song on this album is better than the next. It’s definitely one of our favourites and we hope it will be yours too!
Jaco Pastorius, 1976
Music on Vinyl
There’s very few bassist who could channel energy into their instrument the way that Jaco Pastorius could. Sure, there have been loads of great bands built around the bass, think of Stanley Clarke, Bootsy Collins or even Charles Mingus.
No disrespect to Mingus, but in our view no one comes close to Jaco Pastorius in terms of lightning technique, funky vibe and magic feel. Largely self taught, Jaco was already teaching bass at the University of Miami by age 22.
His debut solo album featured the elite of the jazz world including – Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Michael Brecker among others.
Funnily, the album was recorded just a few months prior to the release of Black Market, Jaco Pastorius’s debut album with Weather Report.
To really appreciate his abilities just listen to Donna Lee and then remember that this is a Charlie Parker tune…no one has any business even attempting this on bass – and we may even prefer this blistering version to Bird’s!
We could write on and on about Jaco Pastorius but it’s probably best that we let you experience him for yourself – strap in and enjoy!