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OJC/Craft Announce Five More Reissues

It's good to see that the Craft reissues of Original Jazz Classics (reissues themselves...I still haven't figured that one out) are coming along nicely. Still, I don't yet have one in my collection (though I do have some of the original OJC reissues). Reissues of reissues? Sure. When good titles remain in print, everyone wins.

Full press release below:

Los Angeles, CA (June 18, 2024) – Craft Recordings announces the final batch of 2024 reissues for its Original Jazz Classics series, beloved by collectors and critics alike. The latest reissues include Clark Terry Quartet & Thelonious Monk’s In Orbit, Mal Waldron’s The Quest, Thelonious Monk Septet’s Monk’s Music, Blue Mitchell’s Blue’s Moods, and Cal Tjader’s Latin Kick. All of these titles can be pre-ordered today.

Vinyl records from Original Jazz Classics Releases

As with previous releases, these new reissues will boast 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. This audiophile series has thus far reissued a staggering 850+ jazz albums, drawing from its dazzling jazz catalog, which has grown to include thousands of artist-defining titles originally released by Prestige, Galaxy, Milestone, Riverside, Debut, Contemporary, Jazzland, and Pablo.


Original Jazz Classics relaunched last year to great critical acclaim. While commenting on the reissue of Bill Evans’ Sunday at the Village Vanguard, PopMatters enthused, “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. Clash declared the reissue to be “a must-have.” Tracking Angle gave a perfect score review to the reissue of Bill Evans’ Waltz for Debby, adding, “The best-sounding of all the pressings…the whole line will be worth watching and buying quickly before they sell out.” All About Jazz echoed that sentiment, saying, “Without hyperbole, it can be stated that this is the best-sounding version yet of a beloved album.”


Read more on the latest batch of OJC releases below.


Vinyl records from Original Jazz Classics Releases

Clark Terry Quartet & Thelonious Monk – In Orbit (Available August 30, 2024)

Trumpeter Clark Terry plays the flugelhorn on this 1958 release, which earned much attention for one important, flattering detail: Monk appears here as a sideman. The other support talent is nothing to sneeze at: Cannonball Adderley’s frequent bassist Sam Jones and Philly Joe Jones, whom Bill Evans raved about being his favorite drummer.


At this point Clark was at a peak, having become a frequent presence on the stage with Count Basie and Duke Ellington. To that end, AllMusic commented that In Orbit was, true to its title, “A spirited, boppish date.” Monk fans will revel in the more rarified track “Let’s Cool One” (the pianist’s only composition here). Other standouts include Terry’s silky-smooth “One Foot in the Gutter” and the wistful “Argentia.”

Clark Terry Quartet & Thelonious Monk – In Orbit


Side A

1.      In Orbit

2.      One Foot In The Gutter

3.      Trust In Me

4.      Let's Cool One

Side B

1.      Pea-Eye

2.      Argentia

3.      Moonlight Fiesta

4.      Buck’s Business

5.      Very Near Blue

Vinyl records from Original Jazz Classics Releases

Mal Waldron – The Quest (Available September 27, 2024)

Back in 1962, Billboard mused that this album from Waldron, one of Billie Holiday’s go-to pianists, “Contains two ingredients that show his deep-rooted talent, melody, and swing.” An alluring mix of avant-garde and hard bop, the sextet is a well-rounded showcase of talent featuring Eric Dolphy on alto sax, Booker Ervin on tenor sax, Ron Carter on cello, Joe Benjamin on double bass, and Charlie Persip on drums.


Even after decades, Waldron’s compositions such as the sentimental “Duquility” and escapist “Warm Canto” remain unparalleled in their willing transcendence of genre and expectations. Meanwhile, “Fire Waltz” is a bright, cerebral-bop delight.

Mal Waldron – The Quest


Side A

1.      Status Seeking

2.      Duquility

3.      Thirteen

4.      We Diddit

Side B

1.      Warm Canto

2.      Warp and Woof

3.      Fire Waltz

Vinyl records from Original Jazz Classics Releases

Thelonious Monk Septet – Monk’s Music (Available October 25, 2024)

This swoon-worthy, seminal album in the Monk cannon was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001. The 1957 release by the piano-great also features the talents of Coleman Hawkins (tenor sax), Art Blakey (drums), and John Coltrane (tenor sax) to glorious effect.


The album, wrote Pitchfork, “Helped define the future of jazz and the mind of Monk.” His songs “Ruby, My Dear,” a study in nostalgia, and in contrast, the lively, confident “Well You Needn’t” are highlights in Monk Music’s aural field of dreams.

Thelonious Monk Septet – Monk’s Music


Side A

1.      Abide With Me

2.      Well, You Needn’t

3.      Ruby, My Dear

Side B

1.      Off Minor

2.      Epistrophy

3.      Crepuscule With Nellie

Vinyl records from Original Jazz Classics Releases

Blue Mitchell – Blue’s Moods (Available November 15, 2024)

Upon Blue’s Moods release in 1960, DownBeat observed that the work “reflects the attainment of a measure of self-assurance and restraint, hallmarks…of the mature artist.” To that end, this release from Mitchell (on both trumpet and coronet) continues to be a classic, thanks to leaning into the spirited ease that captures hard-bop’s spirited, groove-driven ease.


Joined by a solid rhythm section (pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Roy Brooks). Blue’s Moods exudes warmth and curiosity in covers such as the chilled-out, sauntering “Sweet Pumpkin” and the edgier, life-affirming “Avars.” Blue’s Moods is as seemingly effortless as effortless gets.

Blue Mitchell – Blue’s Moods


Side A

1.      I’ll Close My Eyes

2.      Avars

3.      Scrapple From the Apple

4.      Kinda Vague

Side B

1.      Sir John

2.      When I Fall in Love

3.      Sweet Pumpkin

4.      I Wish I Knew

Vinyl records from Original Jazz Classics Releases

Cal Tjader – Latin Kick (Available December 18, 2024)

As legend has it, Tjader’s music has been sampled in more than 200 tracks. There’s a reason why: His pioneering work as a bandleader and (mostly) vibraphonist in the Latin jazz genre is an irresistible entwining of Afro-Cuban rhythms and jazz fundamentals that immediately transports you to another time and place.


“Everything cooks in a bright yet disciplined manner,” AllMusic said of Latin Kick, his unforgettable release from 1956. “Tjader’s elliptical, swinging vibes preside genially over the ensemble.” This is true: You’d have to try pretty hard to not feel a contact high while listening to effervescent tracks, such as his cha-cha take on Cole Porter’s “I Love Paris,” and an ironically carefree “Lover Come Back to Me,” a cover of the Oscar Hammerstein II song.

Cal Tjader – Latin Kick


Side A

1.      Invitation

2.      Lover Come Back to Me

3.      September Song

4.      Will You Still Be Mine

5.      I Love Paris

Side B

1.      Tropicana

2.      Moonlight in Vermont

3.      Bye Bye Blues

4.      Manuels Mambo

5.      All the Things You Are

6.      Blues From Havana


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