Throughout his long career which happily continues to this day, Winfield Parker has shared stages with the illustrious likes of James Brown, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Little Richard, Etta James, Carla Thomas and Lloyd Price. Parker began his singing career at Baltimore's Ru-Jac label, one of America's first African-American-owned record labels (active from the early 1960s through the early 1970s). In 2015, Omnivore acquired the pioneering Ru-Jac label and its publishing assets, and on March 25, the first title from that acquisition will see release. Mr. Clean: Winfield Parker at Ru-Jac features 23 tracks of prime 1960s East Coast soul from Ru-Jac's premier artist. It will initially be available on CD and digital download, and a vinyl edition will be coming in the future, with the first run to be pressed on orange vinyl!
Winfield Parker released seventeen sides on Ru-Jac, all of which are included here. Omnivore has also excavated a further six previously unreleased bonus tracks which premiere on this collection. All told, Mr. Clean presents released masters, alternate takes, demos and backing tracks, all restored and remastered by Michael Graves for their best sound ever. This release from a soul man you won't soon forget will likely be joined later in 2016 by another title from the Ru-Jac archives. Omnivore's Cheryl Pawelski explains in the press release, "By the end of the year we're hoping to have at least one additional artist collection available, as well as a label overview. The Ru-Jac story centers around its founder, Rufus Mitchell, a promoter of live shows in the Baltimore area, including one of the first African American-controlled beaches, Carr's Beach. The 45s that spun out of Ru-Jac offer a tantalizing, never-before told, audio history of a time and place that we can't wait for everyone to hear." We can't wait to hear it, too!
On March 11, Omnivore will release two additions on CD and digital in its series dedicated to revisiting the late career oeuvre of Maynard Ferguson (1928-2006). The old met the new on 1986's Body and Soul. Ferguson reshaped the makeup of his band, removing some brass from the line-up and adding guitar and percussion to create a new sound. Though the 1930 standard "Body and Soul" titled the album, the remaining six songs were all original compositions. Omnivore adds three previously unreleased bonus tracks (including session outtakes and a live track) plus new liner notes from Denis DiBlasio of the Ferguson band and Steve Wiest. Body and Soul is joined by 1989's Big Bop Nouveau. During this period, Ferguson had taken a rest from his fusion band, High Voltage, and recruited some of his favorite horn players for his 60th Birthday Big Band Tour. He and his big band entered Santa Barbara's Sound Design Studios in 1989 to record the album that became Big Bop Nouveau. Ferguson and co. recorded five tracks "as live as possible" in the studio, while the sixth track, "The Maynard Ferguson Hit Medley" was recorded in-studio at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival in fall 1988. (The medley revisited such staples as "Chameleon," "Frame for the Blues," "Maria," "Birdland," and "MacArthur Park.") Omnivore's reissue boasts one bonus track, Steve Wiest's composition "Compared to You," plus new liner notes by Wiest.
You can pre-order all three titles at the links below!
- Body and Soul
- Mira Mira
- Last Drive
- Beautiful Hearts
- Central Park
- Flight 108 (previously unreleased bonus track)
- Blues from Space (previously unreleased bonus track)
- O.T. (Live) (previously unreleased bonus track)
- Blue Birdland
- Caught in the Current
- But Beautiful
- Cruisin' for a Bluesin'
- The Maynard Ferguson Hit Medley (Chameleon/MacArthur Park/Frame for the Blues/Maria/Birdland)
- Compared to You (Live)
- My Love for You - Little Winfield Parker
- One of These Mornings - Little Winfield Parker
- When I'm Alone
- Rockin' in the Barnyard
- I Love You Just the Same (Version 1) - Winfield Parker with The Shyndells Band
- My Love - Winfield Parker with The Shyndells Band
- Go Away Playgirl
- Sweet Little Girl - Winfield Parker with The Shyndells Band
- What Do You Say? - Winfield Parker with The Shyndells Band
- She's So Pretty
- Oh My Love
- I Love You Just the Same (Version 2)
- A Fallen Star
- Clean (Part I)
- Clean (Part II)
- Funkey Party
- Nothin' (Take 4)
- Go Away Playgirl (Stereo)
- Go Away Playgirl (Backing Track)
- My Love for You (Alternate Take)
- My Love (Alternate Take)
- My Love (Demo) - Wesley Aydelett
Tracks 18-23 are previously unreleased bonus tracks