Concord Music Group Releases 3 New Jazz Titles on May 15th, 2012

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CONCORD MUSIC GROUP RELEASES THREE NEW TITLES IN ORIGINAL JAZZ
CLASSICS REMASTERS SERIES: BILL EVANS, THELONIOUS MONK, THE QUINTET

Enhanced, expanded recordings set for release on May 15, 2012


LOS
ANGELES, Calif. — Concord Music Group will release three new titles in
its Original Jazz Classics Remasters series on May 15, 2012. Enhanced
with 24-bit remastering by Joe Tarantino, bonus tracks on each release
(some previously unissued), and new liner notes to provide historical
context to the originally released material, the series showcases
pivotal recordings of the past several decades by artists whose
influence on the jazz tradition continues to reverberate among jazz
musicians and audiences well into the 21st century.

The three new titles in the series are:

The Bill Evans Trio: Moonbeams
Thelonious Monk: Misterioso
Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Max Roach, Charles Mingus: The Quintet: Jazz at Massey Hall

The
new reissues focus on some of the best jazz recorded between the early
1950s and the early 1960s — by three of the most creative and
influential figures in the history of the genre.

The Bill Evans Trio: Moonbeams
Recorded
in New York City over the course of three sessions in May and June of
1962, Moonbeams is the first studio recording by the Bill Evans Trio
following the sudden accidental death of bassist Scott LaFaro the year
before. Chuck Israels replaces LaFaro, playing more of an accompanist’s
role than was Scott’s style, and Paul Motian resumes his drumming duties
with the trio. This lineup produced material for two albums that would
be amongst Evans’s most popular. Moonbeams includes ballads from the ’62
sessions, which also yielded the more upbeat How My Heart Sings that
same year. Moonbeams captures some of Evans’ most introspective playing,
his sense of loss evident but soothed by Israels’ empathetic
performances. Evans also expresses his lyricism underlaid with rhythmic
firmness, even in the extraordinarily slow “Love in Vain.”

Jazz
journalist and author Doug Ramsey, who wrote the new liner notes for the
Moonbeams reissue, points out the tumultuous undercurrent beneath
Evans’s music during the transitional period chronicled in this
recording. “Crystal notes, quiet fire, flow of rhythm, depth of harmony,
adoration of melody, ” Ramsey says. “Evans melded all of that to create
beauty in this recording, despite the distractions of grief, illness,
and a powerful need for drugs that shared with music dominion over his
life.”

Ramsey’s notes quote Israels himself as having taken a
different approach to playing in the context of the trio from that of
LaFaro. “Naturally, the trio’s music is going to be different from what
it was with LaFaro, ” says Nick Phillips, Vice President of Jazz and
Catalog A&R at Concord Music Group and producer of the OJC Remasters
series. “That said, Bill Evans’ brilliance shines through on this
project, despite the fact that he was still trying to recover from the
tragic loss of a dear friend and important collaborator.”

The
reissue of Moonbeams also includes three previously unreleased tracks —
alternate takes of “Polka Dots and Moonbeams, ” “I Fall in Love too
Easily, ” and “Very Early.” All are from the sessions in spring of 1962
that spawned the original album’s eight tracks.

Thelonious Monk: Misterioso
Recorded
live in 1958 at the Five Spot Café in New York, Misterioso is one of
two albums to emerge from the Five Spot dates — the other being
Thelonious in Action — that introduced the world to the quartet format
that defined the remainder of Monk’s career. Monk’s lineup throughout
this recording includes tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin, bassist Ahmed
Abdul-Malik and drummer Roy Haynes. Art Blakey sits in on drums in one
of the reissue’s three bonus tracks, a medley of “Bye-Ya” and
“Epistrophy.”

The album takes its title from a composition
composed by Monk in 1948, says Neil Tesser in his new liner notes. “The
word itself, from the Latin, means ‘in a mysterious manner, ’ you find
it used most often as a musical direction in classical music scores. But
by the time Monk’s quartet recorded this music in performance, a decade
after its studio debut, ‘Misterioso’ had largely come to identify Monk
himself.”

“This is an all-time classic live Thelonious Monk
record, ” says Phillips. “It includes spirited live performances of a
number of his classic compositions, including ‘Nutty, ’ ‘In Walked Bud’
and of course the title track. And then, with the bonus tracks, you also
have some other Monk classics, with ‘Evidence, ’ ‘’Round Midnight’ and
‘Epistrophy.’ It’s an indelible snapshot of Monk live in the late ‘50s.”

Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Max Roach, Charles Mingus: The Quintet: Jazz at Massey Hall
As
the title clearly states, this album was recorded live at Massey Hall
in Toronto, Canada, in May 1953. This summit of modern jazz titans —
held in a concert hall three-quarters empty — is considered by many to
be the greatest jazz concert ever. The music survives thanks to the
foresight of Charles Mingus, who, along with Max Roach, taped the
performance and subsequently issued it on Mingus’ own new label, Debut.

“Whether
you are familiar or not with these performances, rest assured that one
does not need to dig for moments that remain impressive and fresh, or
that reveal the personality of each player in their prime, ” says jazz
journalist Ashley Khan in his new liner notes to the reissue. “It seems
all worlds of music — rock, blues, R&B, soul, hip-hop and others —
are able to point to impromptu get-togethers as proud moments in their
timelines, encounters that were recorded and created music of lasting
impression. In the jazz tradition, there are a few, but none that has
been revered for as long as Jazz at Massey Hall.”

Phillips notes
the importance of remembering that the Massey Hall date captured in
this recording was not a rehearsed gathering, but rather a one-time-only
concert event. “It’s a perfect example of what can happen when
musicians of this caliber come together and just play! It’s the very
definition of an all-time classic, and each and every musician on this
recording is a true legend of jazz.”

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