This fall, Vinyl Me Please is partnering with Craft Recordings’ Jazz Dispensary imprint to reissue some crate-diggers’ delights from David Axelrod, Jack DeJohnette, Bernard Purdie, Leon Spencer, and Idris Muhammad with full audiophile treatment.
The music has been remastered in an all-analog chain from original tape sources by Kevin Gray at Cohearant Audio. Each LP, meanwhile, is pressed on 180-gram color vinyl at RTI and features a heavyweight, tip-on sleeve bearing exact reproductions of the original art. But listeners will want to act fast to add these soulful jazz-funk gems to the library as each is limited to only 1,000 copies.
The first in the series is David Axelrod’s Heavy Axe, pressed on “Timber” brown vinyl. Available in stores now, this lost 1974 classic sees the arranger following up his previous concept albums with a return to richly scored cover versions and originals with backup from jazz legends Cannonball Adderley, George Duke, and Johnny Guitar Watson. Just check out the immensely funky “You’re So Vain,” with Stephanie Spruill reading the Carly Simon hit with a soulfulness all her own, or the ensemble’s breezy take on Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing,” and you’ll see why this album remains a favorite for crate-digging beatmakers and toe-tappers everywhere.
The second title from VMP and Jazz Dispensary is jazz drummer Jack DeJohnette’s Sorcery on very groovy “Sorcerer’s Stone” swirl vinyl. This Prestige album from 1974 shows the drummer, saxophonist and keyboardist teaming up with fellow Bitches Brew sideman Dave Holland on bass, Headhunter woodwind player Bernie Maupin on bass clarinet, Michael Fellerman on horns, and guitarists John Abercrombie and Mick Goodrick. Featuring an array of squawking, squealing horns, electronic processing, and sheets of wild guitar playing, this alternately challenging and tripped-out album is the perfect record to bring you higher.
Third in the series is session legend Bernard “Pretty” Purdie’s Purdie Good will be reissued on “Purdie Purple” vinyl. The 1971 Van Gelder-engineered recording features a trio of originals composed by the drummer and three covers – Jeff Barry and Bobby Bloom’s “Montego Bay,” James Brown’s “Cold Sweat,” and Fred Neil’s “Everybody’s Talkin'” – each given a funky workout. If wah-soaked funk is your scene, dig in to this Prestige album. You’ll find it’s more than just pretty good.
Number four is Idris Muhammad’s Black Rhythm Revolution! Muhammad’s debut album arrived on Prestige in 1971, blending his previous work in the soul idiom (given a spotlight on Side 1) alongside the jazz-funk fusion that he’d continue on with for most of the decade (on the flipside). As concise a look at Idris Muhammad’s talents as you could ask for, it now arrives on “Revolution Blue” swirl vinyl.
The series wraps up with another Prestige gem. Leon Spencer‘s final album as a bandleader, Where I’m Coming From, saw the organ player join with Prestige bassist George Duvivier and future Kudu session staples Idris Muhammad and Grady Tate (drums), Jon Faddis (trumpet), Joe Beck (guitar), and many more for a Van Gelder-engineered run through current soul hits and originals. Spencer’s use of the bass pedals of the organ set him apart from other B3 players, building a foundation for the irresistible grooves you hear across both sides of Where I’m Coming From. It’s all pressed up on a special “Red Cloud” colorway.
So whether you’re a seasoned jazz-funk connoisseur or a new arrival, you’ll want to keep these special 180-gram, AAA pressings on the radar. You can purchase the titles individually from Vinyl Me Please or purchase them as a bundle.
David Axelrod, Heavy Axe [timber brown vinyl] (originally Fantasy LP F-9456, 1974 – reissued Craft Recordings/Jazz Dispensary/VMP, 2020) (Vinyl Me Please)
- Get Up Off Your Knees
- Cast Your Fate To The Wind
- You’re So Vain
- My Family
- Mucho Chupar
- Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing
- It Ain’t For You
- Everything Counts
Jack DeJohnette, Sorcery [“Sorcerer’s Stone” swirl vinyl] (originally Fantasy LP F-9456, 1974 – reissued Craft Recordings/Jazz Dispensary/VMP, 2020) (Vinyl Me Please)
- Sorcery #1
- The Right Time
- The Rock Thing
- The Reverend King Suite
- Four Levels Of Joy
Bernard Purdie, Purdie Good [“Purdie purple” swirl vinyl] (originally Prestige LP Prestige PRST-10013, 1971 – reissued Craft Recordings/Jazz Dispensary/VMP, 2020) (Vinyl Me Please)
- Cold Sweat
- Montego Bay
- Purdie Good
- Everybody’s Talkin’
- You Turn Me On
Idris Muhammad, Black Rhythm Revolution! [“Revolution Blue” swirl vinyl] (originally Prestige LP PRST-10005, 1971 – reissued Craft Recordings/Jazz Dispensary/VMP, 2020) (Vinyl Me Please)
- Express Yourself
- Soulful Dreams
- Super Bad
- By The Red Sea
Leon Spencer, Where I’m Coming From [“Red Cloud” swirl vinyl] (originally Prestige LP PRST-10063, 1973 – reissued Craft Recordings/Jazz Dispensary/VMP, 2020) (Vinyl Me Please)
- Give Me Your Love
- Keeper of the Castle
- Trouble Man
- The Price A Po’ Man’s Got to Pay
- Where I’m Coming From