MASTERWORKS JAZZ CONCLUDES THE CELEBRATION OF THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF CTI RECORDS WITH THE RELEASE OF FOUR MORE CLASSIC REISSUES FROM ESTHER PHILLIPS, HANK CRAWFORD,JOHNNY HAMMOND AND LONNIE SMITH
(Published: October 03, 2011)
All Available for the First Time on CD ON OCTOBER 4TH
Also available, critically acclaimed CTI Records: The Cool Revolution deluxe 4-CD box set and California Concert: The Hollywood Palladium 2-CD set featuring previously unreleased tracks, and 24 reissues of classic CTI albums
Masterworks Jazz concludes its celebration of the 40th Anniversary of CTI Records with reissues of four more classic CTI / Kudu albums available on October 4, 2011. Available for the first time on CD are Esther Phillips' Performance, Hank Crawford's Don't You Worry ‘Bout a Thing, Johnny Hammond's Wild Horses Rock Steady and Lonnie Smith's Mama Wailer. All four releases have been remastered for the first time using the original two-track analog tapes. Each 40th Anniversary Edition is packaged in a soft-pack sleeve that replicates the iconic cover design.
While often compared to Nina Simone, Esther Phillips' idiosyncratic vocal style and her ability to sing in a wide range of styles from blues and jazz to straight-up pop and disco, established her as a unique talent. The lush orchestrations heard on Performance feature a backup band consisting of a veritable who's who of ‘70s jazz artists including Bob James, John Faddis, Hubert Laws, Bernard Purdie and Steve Gadd. Edgier than some of her other CTI/Kudu releases, Performance shows Phillips at her most soulful and at the peak of her vocal powers. Available for the first time on CD, Performance includes "Mr. Bojangles" as a bonus track.
"With an unmistakable blues wail, full of emotion and poignancy, altoist Hank Crawford bridges the gap between that tradition and that of jazz more completely than any other living horn player," writes Thom Jurek in All Music Guide (Crawford passed away in 2009). Taking its title from Stevie Wonder's timeless hit, Don't You Worry ‘Bout A Thing features artists emerging from their years as straight-ahead jazz practitioners. Hank Crawford and crew create their own special mix of funk and soul and apply it to popular hits as well as original compositions with a jazz fusion bent. Don't You Worry ‘Bout A Thing is available on CD for the first time.
The title of organist Johnny Hammond's second CTI/Kudu outing is a dead giveaway. Combining the names of The Rolling Stones' classic "Wild Horses" and Aretha Franklin's "Rock Steady" gives a good glimpse into the eclectic nature of this release even before the first notes of the recording are heard. Hammond and an incomparable band of sidemen (including Grover Washingtion, Jr., Ron Carter and Billy Cobham among many others) take on standards from the pop world as well as pop-based Broadway show tunes "Who is Sylvia" from Galt MacDermot's Two Gentleman of Verona and "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar, all with a jazz/soul/funk groove that is as unique as it is unmistakable. Wild Horses Rock Steady is available for the first time ever on CD.
"The doctor of groove," as Lonnie Smith refers to himself, is most definitely in session on Mama Wailer, Smith's only CTI release that is available for the first time on CD. While known as a master of the Hammond B-3 organ, the title track features Smith on clavinet. A distinct departure from the fat sound of the B-3, Smith manages to make this electronic keyboard lay down a strong feeling of urban funk. Half of the album is made up of original compositions - the title track and "Hola Muneca" - the other half covers tracks popular from the time of the recording sessions - Carole King's "You've Got a Friend" and Sly and The Family Stone's "Stand." Several of the usual suspects from the CTI stable of sidemen - Grover Washington, Jr., Billy Cobham and Airto Moreira - make an appearance on some or all of the tracks.
Sony MASTERWORKS Jazz kicked off the 40th anniversary celebration with the release of CTI Records: The Cool Revolution, a deluxe 4-CD multi-artist box set retrospective in 2010. Receiving rave reviews The Associated Press dubbed it "...the most comprehensive anthology to date" and NPR said it was "... as striking a portrait of the Jazz World in the ‘70s as you'll find anywhere."
Also released in Fall 2010 was the double-CD restoration of California Concert: The Hollywood Palladium (1971) which included 90-minutes of music rarely heard and never before available. It is the most complete version of the historic Hollywood Palladium all-star concert recorded July 18, 1971. It doubles the content of the original five-song LP release with five additional tracks - three of them previously unreleased - and restores the original concert sequence for the first time. Creed Taylor hand-picked a dream team of CTI artists for the occasion: Freddie Hubbard, Hubert Laws, Hank Crawford, Stanley Turrentine, George Benson, Johnny Hammond, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham and Airto Moreira. Liner notes are by multi-Grammy winning musician-producer Bob Belden who says California Concert: The Hollywood Palladium "...ranks up there with the greatest jazz concerts of all time..."
The celebration also included reissues of 24 classic CTI albums: She Was Too Good To Me by Chet Baker, God Bless the Child by Kenny Burrell, Red Clay by Freddie Hubbard, Stone Flower by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Morning Star by Hubert Laws (first time on CD), Stanley Turrentine's Sugar, White Rabbit by George Benson, All Blues by Ron Carter (first time on CD in the U.S.), Prelude by Deodato, Pure Desmond by Paul Desmond, Concierto by Jim Hall, Milt Jackson's Sunflower, George Benson's Beyond the Blue Horizon, Freddie Hubbard's First Light, Giant Box by Don Sebesky, Stanley Turrentine's Salt Song, George Benson's Body Talk, Hubert Laws' In the Beginning, Freddie Hubbard's Straight Life, and Stanley Turrentine's Don't Mess with Mister T. Airto's Fingers, Jackie Cain & Roy Kral's A Wilder Alias, Joe Farrell's Outback and Randy Weston's Blue Moses are all available for the first time on CD.
In addition, Sony also released the following 180-gram vinyl LP reissues of 4 classic CTI albums using the original gatefold sleeve designs accompanied with digital download cards: Red Clay by Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine's Sugar, White Rabbit by George Benson and Prelude by Deodato.
In the 1970s, CTI, its music, its style and its discriminating quality transformed contemporary jazz. The roster worked almost like a repertory company, in which great musicians took turns in the spotlight and accompanying each other. The albums they and their colleagues created set new standards in their look as well as their sound. "[Creed Taylor's] plan was ingeniously simple, yet famously maverick: record top-tier musicians, keeping their artistic integrity intact while also making their art palatable to the people. CTI thus achieved that rare balance of jazz and commercialism," writes Dan Ouellette in the liner notes. CTI surpassed the majors and fellow indies to be named the #1 Jazz Label of 1974 by Billboard. The immediate success of CTI's recordings has echoed across the decades in a profound influence on jazz, pop, R&B and hip-hop.
For more information on these releases, please visit www.CTIMasterworks.com.
Elisa Peimer / Elisa.Peimer@sonymusic.com / 212.833.4692
More Information: http://www.ctimasterworks.com