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More Reissues From Craft’s Original Jazz Classics Are On the Way

Cannonball Adderley & Bill Evan's, Ron Carter, and Art Blakey Lead the Charge


Tothnotes: Original Jazz Classics continues their reissue campaign with a trio of desirable titles at the beginning of 2024 yet again intensifying the age-old record collectors' dilemma: there are too many great things to buy! Read more about these reissues from the press release below. More to come.



Craft Recordings announces the latest batch of reissues for the acclaimed Original Jazz Classics series, championed by both collectors and critics. The latest reissues include Cannonball Adderley & Bill Evans’ Know What I Mean?, Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers’ Caravan and Ron Carter’s Where?, all of which can be pre-ordered today.

 

These new reissues feature lacquers cut from the original tapes (AAA) by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio, 180-gram vinyl pressed at RTI and tip-on jackets, replicating the original artwork. All titles will also be released digitally in 192/24 HD audio. Original Jazz Classics was created in 1982 (under Fantasy Records) and relaunched in 2023. Since its inception, the audiophile series has reissued 850+ jazz albums, drawing from its unmatched jazz catalog, which had grown to include thousands of acclaimed titles from Prestige, Galaxy, Milestone, Riverside, Debut, Contemporary, Jazzland and Pablo.

 

Craft Recordings will continue to expand on its Original Jazz Classics series this year, granting collectors the opportunity to add audiophile reissues of even more out-of-print titles to their vinyl collections.

 

Since OJC was relaunched last year, releases in the series have received critical acclaim. Speaking to the reissue of Bill Evans’ Sunday at the Village Vanguard, PopMatters raved, “The bright, inventive performances are captured perfectly in these new vinyl releases, and listening to them is an exciting, riveting, and perhaps bittersweet experience, as they caught a unique, influential group of musicians at their peak,” and Clash declared the reissue to be “a must-have.” Discussing Mal Waldron’s Mal/2, Analog Planet said, “even better than those hard-to-find originals from the 1950s. . . . trust me, you’ll want this.” On Bill Evans’ Waltz for Debby, Tracking Angle shared in a perfect score review, “The best-sounding of all the pressings . . . the whole line will be worth watching and buying quickly before they sell out,” and All About Jazz echoed, “Without hyperbole, it can be stated that this is the best sounding version yet of a beloved album.”

 

Read more on the latest OJC releases below and stay tuned for announcements regarding more titles coming in 2024.

Cannonball Adderley & Bill Evans – Know What I Mean? (Available March 1, 2024)

2024 kicks off with the reissue of Cannonball Adderley & Bill Evans’ Know What I Mean?dropping on March 1. Adderley and Evans were famed for being part of the Miles Davis Sextet. But they also worked together on a series of albums, with Know What I Mean?from 1960 being their last and most meaningful collaboration. Cannonball—his nickname a twist on “cannibal,” a nod to his healthy appetite—was so compelling as an alto sax that many considered him the next Charlie Parker. Meanwhile, Davis once commented that Evans’ piano abilities were a “quiet fire . . . like crystal notes or sparkling water cascading down from some clear waterfall.”

 

Together, marveled AllMusic, their output on Know What I Mean? is nothing short of “marvelous,” adding, “It’s hard to imagine any fan of mainstream jazz not finding much to love.” (Not surprisingly, both are DownBeat Jazz Hall of Famers.) Critics have been hard-pressed to pick a standout here, but you won’t regret starting with the feather-light “Waltz for Debby” and the dexterous, upbeat Gershwin cover, “Who Cares?”

Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers – Caravan (Available March 1, 2024)

Also releasing on March 1 is the long-awaited rerelease of Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers’ Caravan. “Slick, fluid, professional . . . This is the kind of reissue that gives jazz a good name,” the BBC once gushed about this 1963 album. As a bandleader for four decades, Blakey was a drummer’s drummer, adored for his pioneering solos, many referencing African rhythms. The Pittsburgh native, recognized by the Smithsonian, would go on to mentor everyone from Lee Morgan to Wynton Marsalis.

 

Caravan opens with one such percussive drive in its title track (a Duke Ellington co-write) and spreads out from there to spectacular effect. Greedy listeners won’t regret bee-lining to the nuanced yet invigorating “This Is for Albert,” where Blakey’s drums entwine effortlessly with Cedar Walton’s keys. The song contrasts satisfyingly with the balladic, honeyed song that precedes it, “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” previously popularized by Frank Sinatra.

Ron Carter – Where? (Available March 29, 2024)

Following on March 29 is a reissue of Ron Carter’s Where?, recorded in 1961. Carter’s discography is a sprawling one: The three-time GRAMMY® winner is famously the most recorded jazz bassist of all time. And for good reason. The Michigan native started out playing with Thelonious Monk, went on to join Herbie Hancock in the Miles Davis Quintet and was even sampled by A Tribe Called Quest on their seminal album The Low End Theory.

 

Where? is a collection of unpredictable, almost cerebral tracks, such as the explosive “Rally,” and in contrast, the twangy, minimal “Bass Duet.” (“Carter’s skill is undeniable,” notes AllMusic.) His work here with Eric Dolphy—his buddy from Chico Hamilton’s group—on sax, flute and clarinet delivers on cuts such as the sprightly, levitating “Saucer Eyes.” Where? is Carter’s debut album as a band leader and presages the visionary musician’s long and influential career.

 

Click here to pre-order these new titles, including a bundle featuring all three, or click here to shop the complete OJC collection.


Tracklists:

 

Cannonball Adderley & Bill Evans – Know What I Mean?

 

Side A

1. Waltz For Debby

2. Goodbye

3. Who Cares?

4. Venice

 

Side B

1. Toy

2. Elsa

3. Nancy (With The Laughing Face)

4. Know What I Mean?

 

 

Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers – Caravan

 

Side A

1. Caravan

2. Sweet ’N’ Sour

3. In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning

 

Side B

1. This Is For Albert

2. Skylark

3. Thermo

 

 

Ron Carter – Where?

 

Side A

1. Rally

2. Bass Duet

3. Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise

 

Side B

1. Where?

2. Yes, Indeed

3. Saucer Eyes

 

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